Marathon moves ahead with $23 billion merger

Marathon is moving forward with its proposed $23 billion acquisition of a rival refining firm, and recently notified its stockholders of a special meeting on Sept. 24 to vote on the proposal.

Marathon, based in Findlay, is the parent company of the Speedway convenience store chain, one of the region's largest employers. Company officials declined comment, but previously told the News-Sun the deal will have a major impact on the Speedway chain, adding about 1,100 convenience store outlets to the company's portfolio. Speedway's corporate headquarters is located in Enon.

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A proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show both Texas-based Andeavor and Marathon will host special meetings on Sept. 24 related to the transaction. The companies expect to close the agreement on Oct. 1

The combined company will be the largest U.S. refiner by capacity and a top-five refiner globally if the deal is approved, according to information from Marathon.

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Speedway already operates about 2,740 convenience stores in 21 states. A presentation about the agreement on Marathon’s website shows after the acquisition, the chain would grow to about 4,000 locations with a territory stretching from New Hampshire to California and Alaska to Florida. The deal would also expand Speedway’s loyalty program nationwide and provide efficiencies in its purchasing, distribution, back office and point-of-sale platforms, according to the company. Company officials have not said whether the acquisition will mean more jobs at Speedway’s corporate headquarters.

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Speedway has about 1,350 employees in Clark County and 33,820 workers nationally.

Speedway’s presence across the U.S. will have spread rapidly in just a few years assuming regulators approve the deal later this year. The retail chain operated about 1,500 stores, mostly in the Midwest, just a few years ago. But in 2015, Speedway’s $2.8 billion acquisition of Hess nearly doubled the size of the chain, adding hundreds of locations along the East Coast and South.

DETAILS: Enon-based Speedway grows again with newest acquisition

Late last month Marathon announced the executive team that will lead the combined company will include executives from both MPC and Andeavor. Gary Heminger will continue to serve as MPC’s chairman and CEO. The team will consist of seven executives from Marathon and three from Andeavor. Anthony Kenney, Speedway’s president will have responsibility for all company-owned and-operated convenience stores.

Marathon executives recently touted earnings of more than a billion dollars in the second quarter this year, citing strong earnings in its refining and marketing and logistics and storage operations.

Andeavor operates refineries in California, the Mid-Continent and the Pacific Northwest while Marathon’s footprint largely includes the Gulf Coast and Midwest. The combined company will be the No. 1 U.S. refiner by capacity and a top-five refiner globally.

The Springfield News-Sun has provided award-winning coverage of Speedway and the convenience store industry. The paper has provided extensive coverage of a massive $2.8 billion acquisition of the Hess convenience store chain just a few years ago, as well explaining Speedway’s impact on the region’s economy.

By the numbers:

1,100 — approximate new stores Speedway will add

$2.8 billion — Cost of Speedway’s previous Hess acquisition

$23.3 billion — Cost of total acquisition

2,740 — Estimated stores already in the Speedway chain

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