Seven & I Holdings Co., the world’s largest convenience store operator, agreed to acquire Sunoco LP retail shops and gasoline businesses for $3.3 billion (about ¥365.9 billion) in a record deal for the Japanese company as it seeks to expand in the U.S.
The deal will add 1,108 gas stations and convenience stores in Texas and the eastern U.S.
Sunoco’s retail unit — which includes more than 1,300 stores — reported 2016 operating income of $103 million on revenue of $7.7 billion.
With the acquisition, “7-Eleven Inc. will expand its store network and offer greater convenience, while also improving profitability,” Seven & I said in a statement Thursday.
The move is Seven & I’s most ambitious with President Ryuichi Isaka at the helm after he prevailed a year ago in a boardroom battle against his predecessor. Under Isaka, the retailer announced a broad restructuring that included divesting struggling department stores and boosting profit at 7-Eleven Inc. by adding stores and selling more private-brand products.
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.
Isaka last year laid out plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven outlets in the U.S. to boost its market share.
The firm will also sign a contract to receive gasoline from Sunoco for the next 15 years. The statement said 7-Eleven is aiming to have 10,000 stores by fiscal 2020.
Seven & I forecast operating profit will probably increase 6 percent to ¥386.5 billion for the 12 months ending in February 2018 from a year earlier, according to a statement Thursday.
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