The Pantry To Add 66 Stores to Its Growing Empire

Posted January 9, 2007

— The Pantry empire of convenience stores continues to grow.

The Sanford-based chain said Tuesday it would acquire 66 Petro Express convenience stories from Petro Express, Inc. Fifty-five of those stores are in North Carolina. The other 11 are in South Carolina.

The Pantry, which operates most of its stores under the Kangaroo brand, is paying $275 million for the stores plus inventory costs, according to an SEC filing.

“The Petro Express stores are mostly large, state-of-the-art facilities that generate the highest average revenues of any acquisition in The Pantry’s history,” said Chief Executive Officer Peter Sodini in a statement. “The addition of Petro Express, which has built a leading market position in the Charlotte area, complements our existing store base and is expected to be immediately accretive to our earnings per share. While we already operate 327 stores in North Carolina, we have not focused on Charlotte and our presence there to date has been nominal, partly because of Petro Express’s strength.”

In a statement, The Pantry said the stores it is buying generated some $629 million in revenue for the 12 months ending in October 2006.

The acquisition also includes Carolina Petroleum Distributors, which is based in Charlotte. The firm sells more than 100 million gallons of fuel a year to more than 450 commercial customers.

Pantry stock closed up 87 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to close at $49.13. Pantry shares trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol PTRY.

So far this fiscal year The Pantry has announced plans or acquired 133 stores.

As of Dec. 28, 2006, the Pantry operated more than 1,500 stores across 11 states. It produced revenues topping $6 billion in fiscal year 2006.

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