Angus I. Hines Inc. to sell 23 stores

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

A Suffolk business fixture for more than 80 years, Angus I. Hines Inc. has entered into an agreement with The Pantry Inc. to sell 23 of its 52 Sentry Food Marts in Hampton Roads.

The Pantry Inc. is the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, according to the company’s Web site. A press release published Thursday indicated that the corporation &uot;has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 23 convenience stores in Virginia from Angus I. Hines Inc.&uot;

The 23 stores generated revenue of approximately $122 million in 2004, it adds.

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Peter J. Sodini, president and chief executive officer of The Pantry, said, &uot;We are pleased to announce this acquisition, which we believe complements our existing base of 30 stores in Virginia very well, and is expected to be immediately accretive to our earnings per share.

&uot;This transaction is consistent with our tuck-in acquisition strategy, which is focused on high-volume stores that enhance our market presence.&uot;

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the company’s fourth fiscal quarter.

The Pantry Inc. plans to finance the transaction with a combination of cash on hand, the remaining proceeds from the previously disclosed forward equity sale agreement completed in October 2004, and lease financing. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Owner Angus I. Hines said he could not comment on the deal Thursday, and referred questions to the Richmond-based Matrix Corporation, which is handling the sale for the company.

Sedrick Fortemps, a spokesman for Matrix, said an auction will be held on June 27 for bidders who have submitted purchase agreements. The company is still accepting preempted offers.

Headquartered in Sanford, North Carolina, The Pantry Inc. had net sales for fiscal 2004 of approximately $3.5 billion.

As of June 2, 2005, the company operated 1,390 stores in 11 states under a number of banners including Kangaroo Express (SM), The Pantry(R), Golden Gallon(R), Cowboys, and Lil Champ Food Store(R).

The Pantry stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, as well as gasoline and other services.