Convenience store operator The Pantry has continued its strategy of aggressive expansion through acquisitions and new store openings in the South-eastern states throughout the end of fiscal 2006 and on into FY 2007.
Chairman and CEO Peter J. Sodini explained that the company has recently completed a number of small, but strategically important, acquisitions. “We are pleased with the steady flow of these smaller, but strategically important, acquisitions that we have completed over the last three months. The pipeline of potential deals looks especially promising for fiscal 2007. We also are continuing to ramp up our store development programme, which should result in about 20 new store openings during fiscal 2007, to complement our acquisition strategy and accelerate our growth,” he commented.
Over the final six weeks of fiscal 2006, the company acquired an additional five convenience stores in Mississippi and Florida, entering Florida’s Panhandle market for the first time. These acquisitions brought the number of stores acquired for the full fiscal year to 113, compared with 96 in fiscal 2005. The company also opened five new large-format stores in these states during the year.
To date in the 2007 financial year, which began on 29 September, the company has acquired seven stores in four separate transactions in Tennessee, Mississippi and the Carolinas. It has also signed a definitive agreement to acquire an additional eight stores, seven of which are located in Mississippi with the remaining store situated in Southern Florida. These transactions are expected to close in the first quarter.