In a move to expand in the U.S., Seven & i Holdings of Japan is reportedly in discussions to buy the Speedway gas station chain from Marathon Petroleum for approximately $22 billion. This could be the next in a run of deals that have seen Japanese firms spend almost $100 billion in 2019 to recover from sluggish domestic growth, the Financial Times reported.
Seven & i said in a statement that it was looking into “various options, including partnerships and acquisitions” for its new roadmap for growth. However, the firm noted that a final decision had not been made. Marathon Petroleum did not comment, per FT. Seven & i Holdings’ shares dropped nearly 9 percent on Thursday (Feb. 20) following Bloomberg’s initial reporting of the discussions.
In 2017, Seven & i invested $3.3 billion to purchase segments of Sunoco’s fuel and convenience store business. The U.S. is at the core of the Japanese company’s growth strategy. Its North American convenience stores account for a third of its yearly $61 billion revenue. Seven & I also operates grocery stores, financial services and department stores.
In October, Marathon Petroleum approximated that Speedway had an enterprise value in the range of $15 billion to $18 billion.
In separate investment news, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the largest bank in Japan, has invested over $700 million in Grab, a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia that also provides food delivery as well as other offerings to its customers.
The move will provide MUFG with access to the firm’s millions of daily users to market loans and financial services. Grab, for its part, aims to create a super-app that would offer a bevy of useful services. MUFG is also striving to strengthen its Southeast Asia presence, which the bank sees as an important factor in future growth amid Japan’s continued market slowdown.