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    Real Estate Co. Hatches White Hen Plans

    Company buys 15 c-store locations in Massachusetts.

    BURLINGTON, Mass. -- Linear Retail Estate Properties, a real estate firm located here, has purchased 15 White Hen Pantry convenience stores for $12.3 million from New England Pantry.

    "We were talking to New England Pantry about opening a new store in one of our properties and our conversations evolved into this mutually beneficial sale-leaseback transaction for their portfolio of owned properties," Bill Beckeman, president and CEO of Linear Retail, said in a written statement. "We were impressed by New England Pantry's operations, the great locations they owned and the strong sales performance of these stores."

    He continued: "We had immediate interest in pursuing a portfolio transaction with New England Pantry and hope to do more just like it with other retailers."

    Under the agreement, New England Pantry will lease the sites to Linear, but will continue to operate the locations. Of those, 14 are free-standing, while one store is part of a multi-tenant location, Linear stated.

    "We weren't seeking to sell our properties but when Linear Retail showed us how we could take advantage of the strong retail real estate market and free up capital to allow us to accelerate our expansion, we reconsidered," said New England Pantry CEO Andy Brothers. "Now we can focus more energy on opening new stores including a new White Hen Pantry at Centre Street Village in Danvers, another property owned by Linear Retail."

    Brothers told the Lowell Sun that New England Pantry was not affected by 7-Eleven's purchase of more than 200 stores in Illinois and Indiana in August. New England Pantry bought the rights to use the White Hen name from the White Hen Corp., the report stated.

    New England Pantry currently operates 55 White Hen stores across New England, but owns none of them, the Sun stated.

    Two Worcester, Mass. stores were purchased, in addition to stores in Lowell, Pepperell, Winthrop, Revere, Everett, Lynn, Natick, Newburyport, West Roxbury, Lawrence, Haverhill, West Harwich and Shrewsbury, Mass.

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