BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. may be looking to acquire over 1,300 Hess (NYSE: HES) gas stations, people close to the matter tell the Wall Street Journal. According to unnamed sources, the private-equity owners of BJ's have enlisted bankers to lead discussions about the gas station chain, which they envision pairing with its wholesale clubs.
Earlier this year, Hess signaled that it will either sell or spin-off its gas stations after it permanently closed its 55-year-old Woodbridge, NJ petroleum refinery and laid off around 200 workers there. Hess later said it was preparing to exit the energy trading and marketing businesses and sell its gasoline stations in 16 eastern states on the east coast. After dropping the stations, Hess intends to continue as an exploration and production company.
There has been no formal announcement about the sale of the gas stations, although potential bidders, including BJ's owners CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Leonard Green & Partners LP, have been put on alert that the sale is forthcoming.
BJ's has nearly 200 wholesale clubs in 15 eastern states, with more than half featuring gas stations.
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