Sixteen Sunoco LP gas stations and A-Plus markets in Erie County have been sold to 7-Eleven Inc. for more than $16 million, as part of a much larger $3.3 billion nationwide deal between the two Dallas-based corporate titans that was at one point endangered by federal antitrust concerns in Buffalo and five other cities.
The local markets are in Alden, Amherst, Aurora, Boston, Buffalo, Clarence, Hamburg, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and West Seneca. The total value of the real estate sold is $16.5 million, with the individual property prices ranging from $522,000 to $1.86 million, according to deeds filed with the Erie County Clerk's office.
Two more were sold in Lockport and Niagara Falls, but the prices were not disclosed.
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven completed its acquisition of 1,030 Sunoco convenience stores in 17 states in the largest such transaction in the international chain's company history. The deal, which had been announced in April 2017, brings the 7-Eleven network of stores to a total of 9,700 in the U.S. and Canada. Parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., based in Tokyo, Japan, operates more than 65,000 stores in 18 countries globally.
The former Sunoco stores, which operated under the APlus, Laredo Taco, Ladson Grill and Stripes brands, will continue to serve customers.
“Part of what makes brand 7‑Eleven so iconic is our global presence and our continued growth,” 7‑Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement. “The acquisition of over 1,000 Sunoco stores supports our accelerated growth strategy, and we look forward to serving these great new customers.”
Sunoco agreed to sell the convenience store business to refocus its efforts on its primary fuel-supply operations. The deal had originally involved 1,108 stores in 18 states, and gave 7-Eleven entry into Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, as well as a strong presence in Corpus Christi and across South Texas, DePinto noted at the time.
“This acquisition supports our growth strategy in key geographic areas including Florida, mid-Atlantic states, Northeast states, and Central Texas,” he said at the time.
But it also sparked concern from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it would harm competition in 76 local markets across 20 metropolitan areas, including Buffalo; Boston; Richmond, Va.; Gettysburg and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Washington, D.C.; San Antonio, Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas; and Fort Meyers, Tampa and Miami, Fla.
Specifically, the FTC's complaint alleged that the deal would violate antitrust law by concentrating the marketplace, creating a monopoly in 18 markets and reducing the number of competitors from three to two in 39 markets and from four to three in 19 markets. The agency noted in the complaint that retail fuel markets are generally very narrow geographic areas, ranging from just a few blocks to a few miles.
As a result, the FTC asserted, without changes to the deal, 7-Eleven "could unilaterally raise prices" or the "small number of remaining competitors could increase prices by coordinating their actions."
So Seven & i Holdings agreed to sell 26 gas stations and stores in Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania to Sunoco, which will also keep 33 locations that were to be sold to 7-Eleven in Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York. One of those stations is at 2977 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst.
Sunoco will convert the 59 stations from company-operated sites to third-party agents, but will retain full control over fuel pricing and supply, according to the agreement.
The Erie County locations, and how much they sold for, include:
- 8000 Main St., Clarence, for $1.855 million
- 2731 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, for $1.615 million
- 5665 Seneca St., West Seneca, for $1.549 million
- 1311 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, for $1.488 million
- 1440 Union Road, West Seneca, for $1.246 million
- 4010 Delaware Ave., Tonawanda, for $1.073 million
- 5215 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, for $1.04 million
- 7185 State Road, Boston, for $999,000
- 402 Delaware St., City of Tonawanda, for $966,000
- 428 & 432 Dingens St., Buffalo, for $735,000
- 1694 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, for $717,000
- 1319 Abbott Road, Lackawanna, for $695,000
- 4501 Main St., Amherst, for $665,000
- 13320 Broadway, Alden, for $658,000
- 179 Main St., East Aurora, for $653,000
- 3942 & 3962 S. Park Ave., Blasdell, for $522,000