Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores, backed by equity firm Catterton Partners, has acquired a majority interest in Uppy’s Convenience Stores Inc. and 170 convenience stores/fuel stations from Exxon Mobil Corp.
The transaction creates a leading convenience store operator in the Mid-Atlantic region with more than 200 convenience store operations in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
Uppy’s was founded in 1995 by CEO Steve Uphoff as a single retail convenience store in Richmond, Va. Since its inception, Uppy’s has experienced significant growth as a result of a well-planned expansion program, innovative marketing programs and strong demographic and geographic dynamics. Uppy’s has been recognized as one of the Inc. 5000 fastest growing small private companies in America, and in 2009, Uppy’s won the Richmond Impact Award from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm in North America, has partnered with Uphoff, who will remain CEO of Mid-Atlantic and retain a substantial financial interest.
“We are pleased to complete this transaction, which will immediately enhance our footprint and solidify our position in the Mid-Atlantic states,” said Uphoff. “Catterton has a strong record of partnering with entrepreneurs to build successful growth enterprises. We look forward to benefiting from Catterton’s retail and consumer expertise as we work together to grow the business, optimize our operations, expand our retail offering and develop a deeper connection to customers. We are excited about this transaction and believe it will lead to accelerated growth, enhanced service and additional product offerings for our customers, greater benefits for the communities we serve and increased opportunities for our employees.”
The transaction makes Mid-Atlantic the largest ExxonMobil fuel marketer in the U.S. The Mid-Atlantic properties operate on prime retail sites in desirable geographies with strong demographic trends, and generate strong operating metrics significantly above industry averages, the company reported. Furthermore, Mid-Atlantic will be operated by an experienced management team and is positioned to grow both organically and via acquisitions.
“Mid-Atlantic is a growing platform with an attractive portfolio of stores, a strong retail offering for consumers and a highly-experienced management team,” said Nik Thukral, a partner at Catterton Partners. “Through our other retail investments over the past 20 years, we have gained extensive knowledge about the consumer that we can leverage to enhance performance, particularly with respect to implementing a differentiated retail strategy for Mid-Atlantic. Furthermore, we believe it is an attractive time for Catterton to enter the industry, as the economics of convenience stores are increasingly driven by non-fuel retail sales. Moreover, there are significant opportunities for future consolidation as Mid-Atlantic seeks to achieve scale in the highly fragmented convenience store industry.”