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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Independent Opportunities

Source: CSP Daily News
The Pantry will sell off 80 properties across 11 states in the Southeast

CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry will divest itself of about 80 properties in coming months, including a mix of convenience stores with gas, standalone convenience stores, closed sites and prime real estate, as reported in a Morgan Keegan/CSP Daily News Flash yesterday. The selloff is part of a recent review of the chain's store portfolio, according to CFO Frank Paci.

"[We've] determined that certain stores do not fit with our current strategic plan," Paci said on a second-quarter earnings call yesterday. "As a result, we expect to offer these assets for sale to independent operators. When combined with some excess real estate that we own, the total number of locations offered will be approximately 80."

Most of the stations are currently branded Kangaroo, Shell, Chevron, CITGO, Mobil, BP and Texaco. Stores are located in a variety of markets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

"While these sites don't fit with our company's current strategic plans, they can be excellent locations for the right buyer," said Jim Bosworth, vice president of mergers and acquisitions for The Pantry, "be they national distributors, independent operators or those in other retail businesses."

NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC will assist The Pantry with the strategic divestiture throughout the Southeast.

"This sale offers some great opportunities for qualified buyers," said Dennis L. Ruben, managing director of NRC. "We encourage anyone currently operating in these markets or interested in operating in them to take a serious look at the portfolio. There's also some prime real estate that should be of interest to buyers outside the retail petroleum and c-store sectors."

The stores will be sold using NRC's "buy one, some or all" sealed-bid sale process. The bid deadline has not yet been established.

Interested parties can register online for sale updates at www.nrc.com/1005 or by calling the NRC Customer Service Center at (800) 747-3342, Ext. 1005.

Headquartered in Cary, N.C., The Pantry Inc. is the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country. As of May 3, 2010, the company operated 1,647 stores in 11 states, down from 1,658 at t