Road Ranger Convenience Stores, which made headlines last month for its multimillion dollar lawsuit against CITGO Petroleum, reached a deal to acquire 11 AmeriStop convenience stores in Kentucky and Ohio. Road Ranger, based in Rockford, Ill., now operates 74 stores across the Midwest.
Petro Acquisitions Inc., the Cold Spring, Ohio-based parent company of the AmeriStop chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November. A court-ordered auction was held Feb. 14 to sell Petro’s assets. According to NRC Realty Advisors, which served as a financial adviser in the transaction, Road Ranger was the highest bidder for the 11 stores for $23 million, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Road Ranger is excited about its acquisition of these former AmeriStop sites, and is looking forward to expanding rapidly in the near future through the strategic acquisition of groups, stores and companies that fit Road Ranger’s criteria," company President Dan Arnold said.
Meanwhile, owners of 59 regional AmeriStop franchise stores said they expected to close this week on a nearly $7 million deal that will enable them to maintain control of their convenience stores. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the prime leases on the franchisees’ stores were among the items put on the auction block.
The franchisees banned together and formed CFG LLC to bid on the prime leases. Ultimately, their collective bid of $6.9 million in cash held up, despite Hyde Park, Ohio-based Gilligan Oil’s bid of $7.1 million, according to the franchisees’ lawyer, Marcia Andrew.
Included in the franchisees’ bid was their agreement to release all claims against Petro. Among other allegations, this includes claims that the company overcharged franchisees for fuel, failed to pass through rebates and failed to pay vendors, resulting in damages that could exceed $10 million, Andrew said.