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By Mehgan Belanger
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A stalking horse bidder was named in convenience chain Uni-Marts LLC's chapter 11 bankruptcy case, CSNews Online has learned. The stalking horse company, Tri-Color Holdings LLC, is the primary shareholder of Uni-Marts and, subject to court approval, would acquire all the assets of the bankrupt 210-unit convenience chain, said Tom Kelso, managing director of Matrix Capital Markets Group, in an interview with CSNews Online.
The agreement calls for Tri-Color to acquire all stores "as is, where is," and a court motion to approve the stalking horse agreement is scheduled for July 21, Kelso said. Outside of stalking horse topping rights, Tri-Color has no other restrictions, including no breakup fee if the deal falls through, he added.
Following the court's approval, a bid deadline for the sites is scheduled for Aug. 13, followed by an auction for the assets Aug. 18. A winning bidder for the Uni-Marts assets will be named shortly thereafter, Kelso told CSNews Online.
Meanwhile, minimum bid amounts have been posted in Matrix's online data room that relates to the sale of the Uni-Mart assets. Potential bidders can log on to the site and view the minimum bids for each property.
Assets up for auction include 68 BP-branded sites; 30 Exxon-branded sites; 52-Uni-Mart-branded stores; 28 Choice Tobacco Outlet locations; one Mobil-branded site; and four unbranded assets. Within those, 27 do not offer fuel; 113 are company-owned and -operated; 21 are company-owned and dealer-operated; and 76 are dealer-owned and -operated.
More information on the auction and assets can be found at http://www.matrixcapitalonline.com/unimart/intro.htm
CSNews Online previously reported a purchase contract between Uni-Marts and Atlantis Petroleum expired without a transaction being consummated, and Uni-Marts elected to re-market the assets, which include more than 200 company- and dealer-operated sites with various fuel brands across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
Since filing for Chapter 11, Uni-Marts negotiated its rent payments and lease obligations to reduce cost and risk. The result is that the company itself is "substantially more profitable and operating at a profit today," Kelso previously told CSNews Online.
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