Originally Published in CSP Magazine
Greg Lindenberg, CSP
ATLANTA — MAS Capital LLC has closed on the acquisition of a portion of the gas station and convenience-store network in the Southeast formerly owned or controlled by Circle K Stores Inc. The acquisition includes 25 Circle K, Kangaroo Express or Flash Foods branded retail sites in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.
The entire network is company operated. and MAS will convert the motor fuel offering to the Chevron brand.
The principals of Gas Express LLC (GX) and Synergy Capital Investments established MAS Capital in 2021 to facilitate the acquisition and smooth transition of the 25 retail sites from Circle K Stores to the newly formed company. Amin Chitalwala and Shams Nanji established GX in Atlanta in 2002. GX is the largest Circle K franchisee in the United States and a CITGO, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco branded wholesaler. GX currently operates approximately 135 locations in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Atlanta-based Synergy, controlled by Malik Karimi, is a private equity firm that specializes in investing in small to mid-market businesses with extensive experience in the convenience and gas station industry.
Petroleum Capital and Real Estate LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to MAS Capital and provided professional assistance in the initial competitive bidding and financial due diligence process, acquisition modeling, contract negotiations and procurement of the capital required to close the overall transaction.
“This was a great opportunity for our client to acquire a large number of locations within GX’s current retail footprint that complements its existing network of locations,” said John Flippen, managing director and principal of Richmond, Va.-based PetroCapRE, which provides buy-side, sell-side, refinancing and capital restructuring services for clients exclusively in the downstream multi-site retail and wholesale petroleum industry.
Circle K forged a partnership with GX in 2012. It awarded Gas Express a master franchise agreement allowing Gas Express exclusive Atlanta-area rights to the Circle K brand for Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
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Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.’s 26-country global network includes approximately 9,300 c-stores in North America, with more than 7,100 in the United States under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners in 48 states, and approximately 2,100 in Canada under the Circle K, Mac’s and Couche-Tard banners. It has a worldwide total network of approximately 14,200 stores.