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Japan's Seven & i Expands 7-Eleven Empire With Purchase Of Australian Franchise

By Donna Ahern
Japan's Seven & i Expands 7-Eleven Empire With Purchase Of Australian Franchise

Japanese retail conglomerate Seven & I Holdings recently noted that it has agreed to purchase the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Australia for A$1.71 billion ($1.1 billion), further expanding its ownership of the brand.

The Australian convenience and petrol retailer, owned by the Withers and Barlow families, kickstarted the process to sell the business - which consists of 751 stores - earlier this year.

The deal will allow Seven & i to establish "itself as the clear industry leader in the Australian convenience store market, which has significant growth potential," the Japanese company said in a statement.

It added that it saw room for further growth by actively opening new stores in most Australian states.

Southland Corp


Seven & i's corporate predecessor first licensed the 7-Eleven franchise from US-based Southland Corp in 1973.

But the Japanese conglomerate later took over the US company in 1991 and now controls more than 80,000 7-Eleven convenience stores around the globe.

Its sprawling retail empire also includes Speedway gas stations in the US and Ito-Yokado supermarkets in Japan.

The company has, however, come under pressure by analysts and investors to restructure and shed underperforming assets.



Earlier this year, Seven & i faced down a board challenge from US-based activist fund ValueAct Capital which had urged the company to consider a spin-off of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

Seven & i has since taken some steps to reshape its structure.

This year it closed 14 Ito-Yokado supermarket stores in Japan, exited its apparel business, and completed a sale of its Sogo & Seibu department store unit.

Read More: 7-Eleven Owner To Sell Sogo & Seibu Unit To US Fund Fortress

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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