Business / Corporate

7-Eleven to buy stores and gas stations in U.S. expansion

Bloomberg

Seven & I Holdings Co., the world’s largest convenience store operator, will buy 79 gas stations and convenience stores in California and Wyoming from CST Brands Inc. as it seeks to offset slowing demand at home. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The Tokyo-based retailer’s U.S. unit, 7-Eleven Inc., entered the agreement with San Antonio-based CST Brands, and the deal is expected to close next month, the buyer said in a statement dated June 2.

While the agreement will have only minimal impact on results for the year ending February 2017, it is expected to contribute to profit over the medium term and longer, 7-Eleven said.

Seven & I President Ryuichi Isaka, who was appointed May 26, has an ambitious plan to announce a growth strategy and structural reform design for the retailer 100 days from taking office. Success with a U.S. expansion is critical for the company as it faces myriad challenges, including restructuring a money-losing supermarket unit and intensifying competition from domestic rivals FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc.

Seven & I shares rose as much as 2.2 percent to ¥4,724 in Tokyo trading Friday, the biggest intraday increase in more than three weeks. CST Brands rose the most in more than three years Thursday after Reuters reported that Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Seven & I had submitted bids. The shares gained 18 percent to $44.95 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since April 2013.

Isaka laid out plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven outlets in the U.S. to boost its 6 percent market share, he said in an interview last month. The company also wants to raise average daily sales at about 8,500 convenience shops it runs in the U.S. and Canada by 10 percent to $5,500 per outlet, Isaka said.