susser holdings to acquire towncountry food stores

Deal increases company-owned store count to 500, expands geographic footprint into West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

The industry’s merger and acquisition activity continued today in a big way as Susser Holdings Corp., the Corpus Christi, Texas operator and fuel supplier said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire San Angelo, Texas-based Town & Country Food Stores in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $361 million.

Town & Country is a privately owned company and a leading convenience store operator in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, with 140 locations serving Central and West Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and 28 locations serving Eastern New Mexico. Town & Country reported sales of $842 million and EBITDA of $50 million during the 12 months ended Aug. 4, 2007.

The deal is also a sound investment for Susser because Town & Country owns approximately 80% of its stores, along with a land bank of 14 undeveloped locations for future development.

“Town & Country is an extremely profitable and well-run convenience store chain, with a leadership position in attractive and complementary markets where we want to be,” said Sam Susser, Susser Holdings president and CEO. “Town & Country provides us with increased scale and market diversification in an energy-producing region that is experiencing strong economic growth. We believe there’s considerable opportunity for additional store development in these markets.”

Susser also said Alvin New, Town & Country’s president and CEO, will continue to lead the Town & Country organization and “will become an integral part of Susser’s ongoing executive leadership team.”

With the acquisition, Susser Holding will directly own and operate 500 convenience stores and distribute to 370 more.

“Susser Holdings is a fine company that we’ve respected for years,” New said. “While their offer was unsolicited, it was compelling because of the value it will bring to our shareholders and the additional access to capital we will have to accelerate growth. This will also provide great opportunities for many folks from both companies under the combined organization.”

Susser expects to finance the transaction through a combination of committed debt financing, lease financing and excess cash. The deal expected to close in 60 to 90 days pending federal antitrust review, the companies said.

css.php