Circle K Owner To Acquire Super Pantry Chain
By Jim Meadows
Super Pantry, a small convenience store chain based in Champaign is being acquired by a much larger one.
Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc.,based in the suburb of Laval, outside Montreal, Canada, operates or franchises more than 13,000 convenience stores around the world under various brand names, including Circle K. And Circle K will be the new name for the 55 Super Pantry stores in Illinois and Indiana. Couche Tard is acquiring them for an undisclosed sum.
The Super Pantry chain dates back to the 1940's and the Russell Stewart Oil Company. Stewart, a farmer from Chenoa in McLean County, started by selling fuel to rural and commercial customers. He later opened a chain of Stewart gas stations and stores that became Super Pantry.
The stores --- with more than 500 employees today --- have stayed in the Stewart family ---- operating as Tri Star Marketing, Inc. --- up until their sale to Couche-Tard. That sale is expected to be completed by October 12th.
A Couche-Tard news release quotes Jon Stewart, President and CEO of Tri Star Marketing as stating that he was "personally excited" about the transaction, calling it "a true win for both consumers and shareholders of both organizations".
Meanwhile, Bruce Landini, Vice-President of Operations for Couche-Tard's Midwest Division said, "These stores occupy strategic locations with their respective trade areas. This acquisition would be a great additition to Couche-Tard's expansion and growth plans for the Midwest Division".