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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. & DALLAS -- WFI Acquisition Inc., led by the Nanula family and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. LLC, executed an agreement for the sale of its 188 Wilson Farms locations in New York to 7-Eleven Inc., the company reported.
"Wilson Farms has been a successful convenience chain serving customers and communities in the New York area for over 40 years," Paul Nanula, president and CEO of Wilson Farms, said in a released statement. "The WFI group has owned the brand for the past six years, making significant progress in growing the business. It is a testament to the entire employee base of Wilson Farms and the business that we operate that 7-Eleven was interested in acquiring our chain.
“On behalf of our 2,500 associates, I'd like to thank our loyal customers for their patronage and continued support. I am confident that these stores will continue to serve the public, and that the winning combination of 7-Eleven and Wilson Farms will further strengthen the convenience offering for our customers," Nanula continued.
In a separate statement, 7-Eleven said the addition of Wilson Farms significantly increases the brand’s presence in the western New York area. Upon closing, which is expected in the second quarter, 7-Eleven will assume responsibility for all Wilson Farms locations and personnel from the WFI Group, which is led by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., a private-equity firm, and the Nanula family, which together have managed the stores since 2005.
“Wilson Farms has a successful store operation, quality locations and a strong customer-service culture,” stated Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven’s executive vice president and CFO. “The combination of the two companies will strengthen our convenience offering in the western New York area.”
7-Eleven said it will invest in remodeling the acquired stores, adding proprietary beverages such as Big Gulp fountain and Slurpee drinks, coffee service and fresh foods. Local contractors will be hired for the remodeling program to begin later this year. Additionally, the company will introduce its proprietary retail information system to the Wilson Farms stores to provide store personnel with leading technology to serve their customers’ needs.
7-Eleven continues to grow its business by adding stores through traditional store development, business conversions and acquisitions. Sites from ExxonMobil Inc. in Florida and Illinois, certain Shell sites in Dallas, Quarles Petroleum Inc., Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Zooms Inc., New England Pantry and Little Sue are among the company’s most recent acquisitions.
“Consumers can expect to benefit from 7-Eleven’s greater concentration of stores in this area, introduction of private brands and other proprietary products,” Reynolds stated. “Like Wilson Farms, 7-Eleven is committed to bringing customers quality fresh food, good value and friendly service.”
Wilson Farms began as a division of Tops in 1969. In 1991, the convenience chain was sold to Ahold along with 59 Tops supermarket locations, and Tops acquired the Sugarcreek branded stores in May 2000. In 2005, the Nanula family partnered with BRS and Dan Shanahan, Wilson Farms' CFO, to purchase the Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek stores from Tops Markets.
BMO Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and the Nanula family in the sale of Wilson Farms Inc. to 7-Eleven Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.