DUXBURY, Mass.—VERC Enterprises yesterday announced the sale of its 32 convenience stores to multiple buyers in the industry. Leo Vercollone, CEO of VERC Enterprises, said the buyers include Energy North Group, Global LLP and one unspecified entity.
Not included in the sale are two Briteway Car Wash locations in Massachusetts, which will remain under the ownership of the Vercollone family. Paul Vercollone, current co-owner and vice president of VERC Enterprises, will continue to operate these locations with his sons Nick and Chris.
NACS retailer member VERC Enterprises was first established in 1977 by Eugene Vercollone, father of present owners Leo and Paul Vercollone. The company began as a single car wash in Marshfield, Mass., and grew to become a major independent operator of convenience stores/gasoline stations throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. All of the company’s stores have operated under the VERC brand name and sold gasoline under leading fuel brands including Gulf, Mobil, Irving and Shell.
“While the decision to sell was a difficult one, we know that the stores will be operated by organizations that share the same values, purpose and commitment to service,” said Leo Vercollone, in a press release. “We sincerely thank all of our wonderful customers we have had the pleasure of serving throughout our years in business. And we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to our associates who have been the engine and backbone of our company. We are so very thankful for their hard work and dedication.”
Since the company’s inception, VERC Enterprises has made employee engagement and community involvement key tenets of its business. VERC partnered with the Good Jobs Institute to pilot the GJI financial calculator, developed by GJI and NACS for the convenience retailing industry, to help enhance wages and hire and retain the best employees.
Over the years, VERC has partnered with a number of community organizations in order to help provide employment and opportunity for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (IDD) individuals. Through its partnership with these community organizations, VERC Enterprises achieved its goal of having 20% of its convenience store workforce staffed by associates from the IDD community. Read more about VERC’s IDD initiative in “Eager to Work” in the June 2019 issue of NACS Magazine.
In 2019, CEO Leo Vercollone received the May Institute President’s Award for recognition of the company’s longstanding commitment to employing individuals with special needs. The company was additionally recognized as The Boston Globe Top Places to Work in 2020. VERC Enterprises has also been recognized by the Boston Business Journal as a Best Place to Work in Massachusetts, and as a Leader in Diversity. In 2017, VERC was named Employer of the Year by both the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and The ARC of Greater Plymouth, and Employer of the Year for Hopeful Journeys in 2017.
Lawrence, Mass.-based Energy North Group, a NACS retailer member, delivers branded and unbranded gasoline and diesel in New England and upstate New York. The company, which was founded in 1981, also operates Haffner’s car washes and gas stations.
ENG said it purchased 11 sites in Massachusetts from VERC. The acquisition also encompassed 12 tenants that were previously under contract at those sites, including Dunkin’ and Subway, the company announced. ENG also recently acquired one gas station site in Gilford, N.H., called the Airport Country Store & Deli. The site contains a convenience store, Dunkin’, deli and Haffner’s brand gas station.
“We are excited to welcome employees, customers and tenants from VERC Enterprises, the Airport Country Store & Deli, Tradewinds, Putnam Fuels and Sal’s Pizza into the ENG family,” said Jeff Black, owner & COO, ENG. “These companies all fall nicely within our existing suite of brands, and, like all of our acquisitions over the years, each of them brings a unique set of people and skills that will help us to learn, grow and succeed. We are thrilled to expand our gas station, convenience store, car wash and foodservice footprint and look forward to other great growth opportunities in the future.”
Global Partners LP, also a NACS retailer member, is based in Waltham, Mass., and owns, operates and supplies roughly 1,550 gas stations and convenience stores, primarily in the Northeast. Global Partners also owns, controls or has access to one of the largest terminal networks in New England and New York, through which it distributes gasoline, distillates, residual oil and renewable fuels to wholesalers, retailers and commercial customers. In addition, Global Partners engages in the transportation of petroleum products and renewable fuels by rail from the mid-continental U.S. and Canada. In reporting 2020 fourth-quarter and full-year results in March, Global noted that it had signed an agreement to purchase the retail fuel and convenience store assets of Connecticut-based Consumers Petroleum of Connecticut Inc.
The VERC deal is another in a slew of mergers and acquisitions within the fuel retailing industry. During the last quarter of 2020, Kent Kwik entered Tennessee with the acquisition of four stores and a truck stop, GPM snapped up 60 Midwest c-stores, and Kwik Trip finalized its purchase of Stop-N-Go Stores. Earlier this month, Family Express picked up six c-stores, while the EG Group announced it would acquire nine Mercury Fuel sites. Additionally, Casey’s finalized the purchase of 49 stores from Circle K last week, following its $580 million all-cash bid for Buchanan Energy, with its chain of 94 Bucky’s Convenience Stores and 79 dealer locations, in November 2020.