Seven & I confirms on-again, off-again Speedway deal

A Speedway station in Newburgh New York. Image Daniel Case.

Japanese 7-Eleven convenience store chain owner Seven & I will purchase Marathon Petroleum’s American Speedway petrol stations in a US$21 billion deal that has been significantly delayed by the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm was reported to be in talks to purchase the brand’s convenience-store network in the US last February, in a move then expected to be the largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm in the US so far this year. The purchase was dropped in March because the expected asking price was considered too pricey by the group’s board of directors.

Now that the deal has been picked up, Seven & I has the opportunity to look beyond its own market and greatly extend the number of outlets it already operates in the territory, bringing its estimated total North American stores to around 14,000. The deal also comes with a 15-year fuel supply agreement with Speedway.

7-Eleven is facing stiff competition from competitors at home in a saturated market both in terms of physical operators and online retailers.

For Marathon, proceeds from the sale are likely to go towards reducing the company’s significant debt.

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