As it wagers that a bigger presence in the United States will provide growth during the COVID-19 uncertainty, Seven & i Holdings Co. agreed to purchase the Speedway fuel stations of Marathon Petroleum Corp. for $21 billion, Bloomberg reported.
The debt and cash transaction will supplement the 9,800 locations run by the merchant's 7-Eleven U.S.-based business by approximately 3,900 shops, Bloomberg reported.
Seven & i Holdings Co. CEO Ryuichi Isaka said in a recent conference call, “This is a historic first step as we seek to become a global retailer.” The arrangement is said to be the largest to date for Seven & i and the second-biggest buy of a target in the U.S. in 2020.
Seven & i, which is said to be the biggest convenience store franchiser in the world, previously used $3.3 billion to purchase Sunoco LP fuel locations and convenience stores as it sought to grow its presence in the United States.
In the most recent fiscal year, North America comprised roughly 40 percent of Seven & i’s sales. And the Speedway store count has increased three times as of 2011 throughout 36 states.
Marathon is among the energy firms that are getting rid of their retail networks to be geared toward producing gas. In 2019, Marathon encountered pressure from investors such as D.E. Shaw & Co. and Elliott Management Corp. for significant alterations to bolster its performance.
Elliott, for its part, had sought Marathon to separate itself into retail, pipelines and refining business lines.
In February, news surfaced that Seven & i Holdings was reportedly in talks to purchase Speedway from Marathon Petroleum for roughly $22 billion. At the time, it was noted that the deal would be next in a run of arrangements that have seen companies in Japan spend nearly $100 billion last year to bounce back from slow domestic growth.
Seven & i said in a previous statement that it was examining “various options, including partnerships and acquisitions” for its new plan for growth.