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Monday, August 20, 2012

Prima Packs It In

Source: CSP Daily News
By Jennifer Bulat

FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- Exactly one week after participating in a panel discussion of mergers and acquisitions at CSP's Outlook Leadership conference, Jeff Kramer, president and CEO of Prima Marketing LLC, announced the sale of his 76 stores to 7-Eleven Inc.

Kramer told CSP Daily News that Prima and 7-Eleven had been in "general discussions for quite a while" about the deal, going back as far as when Prima sold off 26 sites to independent retailers in the first quarter of this year.

The acquisition includes all Prima company-operated stores, and employment offers were made for about 700 store personnel and district managers, pending successful completion of pre-employment screenings and continued satisfactory performance. 7-Eleven also plans to extend job offers to some non-store personnel, as reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News flash yesterday.

Prima Marketing is a 7-Eleven licensee, and the 76 sites already carrying the 7-Eleven banner. The 76 locations, including two raw ground sites, are spread out over four states: 10 in Pennsylvania, one each in Kentucky and Ohio, and the rest in West Virginia.

About 15 stores per week will be phased into 7-Eleven ownership over the next five or six weeks, Kramer said. Each location will close for a day to accommodate the changeover, and he expects many of the sites to be "modernized."

As far as the customer is concerned, each store "will look much more like a traditional 7-Eleven," though most of the fundamentals will be the same, Kramer said.

7-Eleven will add to the sites its proprietary Retail Information System and technology for enhanced product-ordering capabilities, and it will continue to offer 7-Eleven's private brands and well-known proprietary products, such as coffee, Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks, plus grill products and standard c-store items.

"This acquisition fits well with our accelerated growth strategy and gives us an opportunity to expand in the West Virginia market, building on our already strong mid-Atlantic presence," said Stan Reynolds, 7-Eleven executive vice president and CFO, in a press release about the acquisition. "Eventually, it will also provide business opportunities to local entrepreneurs who would like to operate a 7-Eleven franchise."

The purchase of the Prima locations adds to 7-Eleven's goal of at least 630 new sites in 2012. Not counting the Prima sites, 7-Eleven operates and franchises 21 stores in West Virginia, 172 i

To see a list of convenience stores for sale and gas stations for sale, click here.