Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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36 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM cover story No. 13 Nouria Energy Corp. Worcester, Mass. 2017 Store Count: 116 2016 Store Count: 82 Increase: 34 (41.5%) About the company's growth: Last year, Nouria Energy experienced its most growth ever in total units for one year, according to Chief Operating Officer Joe Hamza. Two acquisitions drove the increase. In April, the company purchased eight Xpress Stop convenience stores with fuel, two Express Lube auto service stations, three car wash locations, a wholesale fuel supply divi- sion, and a transport logistics business from Manchester, Maine-based J&S Oil Inc. Then, in October, Nouria acquired Springfield, Mass.-based F.L. Roberts & Inc., gaining 26 convenience store locations with fuel, including two truck stops, 22 Golden Nozzle car washes, and a diner. ••••••••••••••• someone who is in their backyard? And even then, "if there is a deal on the street for sale, it's going to be hard for a small or mid-sized company to compete with larger operators," Ruben added. "Larger operators have a cheaper cost of capi- tal; they don't need financing. It's going to become more challenging for those smaller guys to grow through acquisition." NRC has been involved in several deals where multiple companies have been interested, but "at the end of the day, when you get down to the final round, it's the same five or six or 10 big players who can write the biggest checks, and they don't have financial contingencies in their offers," according to Ruben. Cheap money has fueled a lot of the recent acquisition activity, Monroe said, cautioning that "we will never see money this cheap." He also noted it's a great time to be a seller because that cheap money has increased the value of convenience stores. Similarly, cheap money has made it a great time to be a buyer because they can get more for their money and not have a huge debt "At the end of the day, when you get down to the final round, it's the same five or six or 10 big players who can write the biggest checks." — Dennis Ruben, NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC

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