Speedway Gas/Convenience Chain Will Be Sold to 7-Eleven
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Speedway Gas/Convenience Chain Will Be Sold to 7-Eleven

Now-global brand will return to Minnesota.

There is currently not a single 7-Eleven location in the state of Minnesota. In the wake of a mega-deal announced on Sunday, that’s likely to change. Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven has struck a deal to buy the Speedway gas station convenience stores from Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum Corp. in a $21 billion in cash.

The company’s announcement of the deal does not directly state that Speedway locations will be renamed to 7-Eleven, but that’s the clear implication from references to expanding the retailer’s brand and welcoming approximately 40,000 Speedway employees to “brand 7-Eleven.” 7-Eleven is known for its Slurpee and Big Gulp beverages.

A representative of 7-Eleven could not immediately be reached for comment.

The numbers behind the expanded 7-Eleven empire are mind-boggling. The 7-Eleven chain has more than 9,800 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The Speedway deal will add approximately 3,900 locations in 35 states.

“This acquisition is the largest in our company’s history and will allow us to continue to grow and diversify our presence in the U.S., particularly in the Midwest and East Coast,” said Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7‑Eleven, in a statement announcing the deal.

7-Eleven is ultimately owned by Tokyo-based Seven & I Holdings Co. The companies had a previous deal in the pipeline, but reports surfaced in early March that negotiations had broken off.

Just three weeks ago, 7-Eleven announced the opening of its 71,100th location around the globe in Seoul, South Korea. 7-Eleven operates, franchises, or licenses locations in 17 countries. According to the company, “a 7‑Eleven store opens somewhere in the world approximately every 3.5 hours.”

The local SuperAmerica gas convenience chain started with a single location in St. Paul in 1960. The group had many owners over the years.

SuperAmerica was sold to Texas-based oil refiner Tesoro in 2017, which then renamed itself Andeavor. The following year, Speedway owner Marathon acquired Andeavor and the SuperAmerica brand largely disappeared. The latest deal marks the third sale of former SuperAmerica locations in three years.

7-Eleven previously had locations in Minnesota dating back more than three decades. There were many intersections in the metro with a SuperAmerica on one corner and a 7-Eleven across the street. A 7-Eleven franchisee went bankrupt in 1989 and sold the locations to SuperAmerica.

The Wall Street Journal reported that fuel maker Marathon had been under pressure from activist investors to sell off its convenience store business.

According to Marathon’s most recent annual financial filing, the company had 203 retail locations in Minnesota at the end of 2019.

But for now, nothing will change immediately. The deal is not expected to close until the first quarter of 2021, per the Sunday announcement from 7-Eleven.