ameristop files for bankruptcy

Petro Acquisitions Inc, the parent company of the Ameristop convenience-store chain, is preparing to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Petro, which franchises about 140 gasoline stations and convenience stores in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, was to file an order late Monday providing the schedule for Chapter 11 proceedings with Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge William Mallory, according to the newspaper.

“I’m not sure what the final agreed-upon dates were (for the bankruptcy filing), said James Frooman, lawyer for Petro. “It should certainly be within the next week to 10 days, I believe.”

Ameristop has seen its share of troubles recently. It started when Walnut Investment Partners filed suit against Petro. The lawsuit alleges that Petro broke a contract agreement when it failed to pay $2.5 million it owed Walnut as part of an $8.75 million stock-buyback deal.

Soon after, majority owner Don Bloom resigned as Ameristop’s president. Walnut had started negotiations with Gilligan Oil Co. to buy its shares, though the legal battle has temporarily halted the deal. At least 25 franchisees have asked to sign onto Walnut’s lawsuit.

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