ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Convenience retail giant 7‑Eleven Inc. on Friday announced the successful completion of its $21 billion acquisition of Speedway from Marathon Petroleum Corp., but the two Democratic commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission threw cold water on the closed deal, saying the agency will continue to review the acquisition.
7-Eleven said Friday that it entered into a settlement agreement in April with the FTC to sell 293 stores as part of the Speedway deal. The Irving, Texas-based retailer said that it continued to abide by the negotiated settlement agreement and closed the deal on schedule Friday. “If approved, that settlement will resolve all of the competitive concerns that the commissioners reference in their statement,” 7-Eleven said.
On Friday, the two Democratic and two Republican commissioners separately issued statements raising antitrust concerns about the acquisition. One spot on the five-seat commission is currently unfilled, awaiting confirmation of President Biden’s nominee for the post.
“We have reason to believe that this transaction is illegal under Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, raising significant competitive concerns in hundreds of local retail gasoline and diesel fuel markets across the country,” FTC acting Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Rohit Chopra said in a statement posted on the agency’s website. “In many local markets, the transaction is either a merger-to-monopoly or reduces the number of competitors from three to two. With the support of a majority of Commissioners, the Commission can and routinely does challenge these harmful mergers.”
Slaughter and Chopra’s statement said, “The Commission will continue to investigate to determine an appropriate path forward to address the anticompetitive harm and will also continue to work with State Attorneys General.” The two Republican FTC commissioners, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, said in a separate statement that they also believe the deal violated antitrust law.
7-Eleven announced the blockbuster Speedway deal last August. Acquiring Speedway’s 3,800 convenience and fuel stores in 36 states, brings 7‑Eleven’s total North American portfolio to about 14,000 stores and expands its presence to 47 of the 50 most-populated metro areas in the U.S.
“Speedway is a great brand and a strong strategic fit for our business that significantly diversifies our presence throughout the North American market, particularly in the Midwest and on the East Coast,” Joe DePinto, president and chief executive officer of 7‑Eleven, said in a press release announcing that the acquisition had closed. “Together, we have the opportunity to redefine and enhance the customer convenience experience nationwide. This is a groundbreaking moment in our company’s proud history.”
7‑Eleven said acquiring Speedway accelerates its growth trajectory, strengthens the company’s financial profile and will create innovative and world-class experiences for its customers. 7‑Eleven said it will work to maximize efficiencies and optimize relationships with vendors and business partners to ensure a continued legacy of innovation and success.
Meanwhile Casey’s finalized its $580 million acquisition of Buchanan Energy and its 94 Bucky’s Convenience Stores in the Midwest. Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s Friday said it has closed the acquisition of Buchanan Energy, deepening Casey’s presence in Nebraska and Illinois and bringing the company’s total owned and operated stores to more than 2,300 units.
Casey’s three-year strategic plan, shared in January 2020, calls for the 52-year-old company to add 345 stores to its chain within three years. In order to close the Buchanan Energy deal, Casey’s agreed to divest six stores as part of a consent order with the Federal Trade Commission.
“We are pleased to complete this transaction and welcome the Bucky’s team to the Casey’s family,” said Darren Rebelez, president and chief executive officer of Casey’s. “Steve Buchanan and his team have built up an extremely successful business, and Casey’s is excited to bring our hand-made pizza program to these well located, high volume stores.
NACS Magazine profiled Casey’s and its growth strategy in the May 2021 issue and 7-Eleven and its Evolution Stores concept in the December 2020 issue.
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