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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CST Brands continues growth in Northeast

Source: My San Antonio
By Neal Morton, Business Writer

SAN ANTONIO — CST Brands Inc. will make its first entry into the Northeast market with the acquisition of nearly 100 convenience stores in central New York.

The locally based company on Wednesday said it had signed an agreement with Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes to purchase its convenience store assets, franchisor rights and associated trademarks. CST did not disclose terms of the transaction, which is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of this year.

Canastota, New York-based Nice N Easy currently operates 33 corporate-owned stores as well as 44 franchise locations throughout its home state and along the U.S. border with Canada, where CST already manages more than 750 stores.

Within the U.S., Arkansas represents CST’s most northeastern market, though it soon will close on a deal to acquire a general partner of a Pennsylvania-based wholesale fuel distributor.

Kim Bowers, CEO and chairwoman of CST, said she hoped both acquisitions are the first of many that will help the company’s long-term expansion plans.

“I’d love to have us across America,” she said. “Ultimately, what we offer our customers is something customers across the country would like to have. It’s just hard to do that with organic growth only.”

Bowers said Nice N Easy’s founder, the late John MacDougall, was looking to sell his company after falling ill earlier this year. He died in June, she said.

To broker the deal, Nice N Easy had retained NRC Realty & Capital Advisors — the same commercial real estate firm CST hired to handle its own divestment of about 100 stores.

Bowers said the deal came together soon after NRC connected the two companies.

“It’s really the network that was attractive,” Bowers added, “because they are so focused on the inside-store sales and do such a fine job in the food area.”

On its website, Nice N Easy highlights an extensive menu of made-to-order items, including breakfast pizzas, antipasto salads, fish-and-chips and Stromboli.

MacDougall started the company with more of a merchandise and grocery focus, said Bowers, whose oldest daughter attends Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.

“There are two Nice N Easy’s there, and that’s where she actually grocery shops,” Bowers said.

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