The Japanese owner of 7-Eleven is to buy the Speedway chain of gas stations from Marathon Petroleum (MPC) for $21 billion, it was confirmed yesterday (9 August, 2020).

In one of the biggest acquisitions in the world to be announced since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings (SVNDF) — which owns 7-Eleven, as well as many other retail outlets— says it is the largest in the company’s history.

U.S. oil refiner Marathon Petroleum announced its intention to spin off Speedway last October. That decision came after activist investor Elliott Management pushed Marathon to split into three companies “to remedy the company’s chronic underperformance.” Elliott proposed a standalone Speedway as one of those companies.

Seven & i is the largest convenience store chain operator in Japan, with 21,000 stores there. It also owns nearly 9,800 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company has been looking to expand overseas as its home market grows increasingly saturated. By acquiring Speedway, the Japanese retailer will pick up 4,000 stores and give its operations in North America a boost.

It means 7-Eleven will now have a presence in 47 of the top 50 most populated metro areas in the U.S., the company said.  The deal “will allow us to continue to grow and diversify our presence in the U.S., particularly in the Midwest and East Coast,” said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto.

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10th August 2020