GasMart USA Inc. (GasMart) announced today that, effective April 27, 2015, it sold its 19 stores in the greater Kansas, Mo. area.
The transaction, in addition to two other sales currently under contract, concludes a six-month sale process conducted by GasMart in its efforts to restructure its balance sheet as well as facilitate the retirement of one of its founders, Jim George.
With its origins in 1995, the George Family combined with members of the Gustin Family, including one of the founders of Applebee’s International, Inc., Abe Gustin, to develop the chain by completing construction of its first store in 1996. Since that time, GasMart has gone through a number of acquisitions and divestitures of stores in seven states. With the sale announced today as well as others under contract, GasMart and its affiliates will have 42 stores, including six leased locations. Other businesses owned and operated by GasMart and its affiliates include an expanding wholesale fuel business as well as a fuel transportation concern with its own fleet of trucks.
In speaking about the sale David George, the president of GasMart, said, “We are extremely pleased with all aspects of the transaction. We enjoyed working with the buyer to find a win-win for everyone. For GasMart in particular, the sale means that we have dramatically deleveraged our company. Our balance sheet is much, much stronger and now we can focus on improving the operating performance of our remaining locations. As part of this process, the shareholders of GasMart, including surviving members of the Gustin Family, agreed to retain John Tittle, Jr. as our new CEO. We were very pleased with Mr. Tittle’s efforts in conducting the sale process and elected to appoint him as CEO. John has a 30-plus year background in providing turnaround, financial advisory, and M&A services to clients across a broad range of industries, including a number of companies in the gasoline/convenience store space. Everyone is excited about the prospects for GasMart going forward.”
“I am pleased to be appointed as CEO,” said Tittle. GasMart has a collection of great fee simple properties that had been overleveraged. This led to cash flow problems and an inward focus on the part of management. This inward focus is now being transformed with the culture to be positive, market-driven and results-oriented. I look forward to working with our great group of employees, suppliers, and constituents to make this happen.”