Marathon Petroleum MPC shares rose Friday after a report that private equity firm TDR Capital is considering a $15 billion-plus bid for the refiner’s Speedway gas station unit
The London PE firm is asking banks how much financing they would provide for such a deal, knowledgeable sources told Bloomberg.
Any offer from TDR would probably include a partner, they said. Marathon has said Speedway is valued at $15 billion to $18 billion.
TDR already owns EG Group, which has expanded through acquisitions into one of the world’s largest convenience-store and gas-station chains.
Marathon Petroleum last fall said it planned to separate its Speedway unit as part of an effort to appease activist investors, who were urging the company to do something about its growing debt.
The debt came mostly from its $23 billion purchase of fellow refiner Andeavor in 2018.
Marathon then held talks to sell the division to Seven & I Holdings, the Japanese parent of 7-Eleven convenience stores, for more than $20 billion. But the deal fell through in March as the coronavirus pandemic prompted both companies to shelve the plan.
Then Marathon reportedly turned to Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard for an $18 billion deal, but nothing has transpired on that front.
TDR has conferred with Alimentation, the owner of the Circle K convenience-store chain, about cooperating in a bid, one of Bloomberg’s sources said.
The sources said others also are considering bids.
Marathon shares recently traded at $37.65, up 0.7%. The stock has slumped 37% year to date.