NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of The Pantry Inc. (PTRY) are rising by 2.56% to $36.43 on heavy volume in mid-morning trading on Thursday, after the convenience store chain, found in the southeastern U.S., agreed to be acquired by Quebec-based convenience store operator Couche-Tard (ANCUF) .
The Couche-Tard/Pantry deal is an all cash transaction valued at $36.75 per share, with a total enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion, including assumed debt, the companies said.
The deal is expected to close during the first half of 2015.
"The Pantry is an excellent company and is well positioned in the Southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S., two of the fastest growing areas of the U.S. With this transaction we will add more than 1,500 stores to our network which will position us as the definitive leader in this region and will reinforce our position as one of the largest convenience store operators in North America," Couche-Tard CEO Brain Hannasch said.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PANTRY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate PANTRY INC (PTRY) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."