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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

McComas Exits Fas Mart

New leadership comes on board as GPM accesses cash for growth
Source: CSP Daily News
By Steve Holtz & Linda Abu-Shalback Zid

RICHMOND, Va. -- GPM Investments LLC announced Monday that Dave McComas, long-time president and CEO, has resigned to pursue other business interests. Meanwhile, GPM-the owner of the Fas Mart and Shore Stop convenience store chains-has arranged for a $46 million senior secured credit facility.

McComas, who was his characteristic man of few words when contacted by CSP Daily News, said his leaving is part of a mutual agreement between himself and the company. "It's something we've been talking about for a while," he said. "I'll be here for a little while through a transition period."

While not offering any details, McComas confirmed he is moving on to other projects. "I've got a couple of things that I'm trying to decide about."

McComas (pictured) led the company through three major acquisitions over the past seven years, according to a company statement. "The company is grateful for McComas's loyal service and contributions to the company's success and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors."

GPM plans to begin a search for an executive replacement immediately, but has appointed David Eisenberg, company advisor and former CEO of Peoples Drug stores and Chief Auto Parts, as interim CEO. Eisenberg has indicated that he will not be making any major changes to the company's path in the short term, and is looking forward to beginning a search for a successor and the 2011 planning and budgeting process.

The $46 million senior secured credit facility was arranged by Chicago-based NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC through Miami-based Bayside Capital Inc.

The Bayside facility will replace existing loans to GPM, as well as provide additional operating capital.

"We worked with several lenders before nailing down the right loan facility with the right lender to meet GPM's needs," said Denny Ruben, managing director at NRC. "In today's lending environment, financing for c-store chains is often challenging. Many lenders have been pulling back, even with their existing customers."

Don Bassell, GPM chief financial officer, said, "NRC was able to bring Bayside to the table with an attractive, long-term financing solution which closed within a very short time frame. With this facility in place, GPM is well positioned to continue its strategic growth and expansion plans."

GPM could not immediately be reached for details on the plans.

Sean Ozbolt, managing director at Bayside Capital added, "GPM is a well-managed business with a leading position in it