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Energy Transfer Partners To Acquire Susser Holdings For $1.8B

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Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), owner of Sunoco, has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby ETP will acquire Susser Holdings Corp. (SUSS) in a unit and cash transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

By acquiring Susser Holdings, ETP will own the general partner interest and the incentive distribution rights (IDRs) in Susser Petroleum Partners LP (SUSP), approximately 11 million SUSP common units (representing approximately 50.2 percent of SUSP’s outstanding units), and SUSS’ existing retail operations consisting of 630 convenience store locations.

Bob Owens, president and CEO of Sunoco, will serve as the president and CEO of the combined businesses, reporting to Kelcy Warren, chairman and CEO of ETP. Sam L. Susser will continue as chairman of SUSP.

The management team will combine members from both organizations to prepare for and execute the integration of the combined businesses.

Susser Holdings has a track record of sustained earnings growth and currently operates 630 retail convenience stores that sell either nationally or regionally branded gasoline or sell gasoline under the “Stripes” brand. Through these retail stores and its fuel distribution network, Susser Holdings also is one of the largest non-refiner suppliers of motor fuel in Texas with 1.6 billion gallons sold in 2013. The focus of Susser Holdings in Texas and its neighboring states has allowed it to capitalize on the Texas economy, as well as the demographic changes occurring in these markets.

“The combination with Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco is the right next step for Susser Holdings and delivers significant value for Susser Holdings shareholders. This transaction also enables our shareholders who elect ETP units to participate in the future growth of the retail business,” said Sam Susser.

Owens added, “The combination of Susser and our Sunoco retail business creates a platform to build a best in class and unique business that is well diversified by both geography and product lines.”

The addition of Susser to the Sunoco network of more than 5,000 retail stores, primarily on the East Coast, broadens Sunoco’s geographic footprint by giving it a base in Texas and the surrounding states. The pro-forma business will have fuel and retail capabilities that are expected to generate sustained earnings growth over time.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of ETP and SUSS, the shareholders of Susser Holdings will have the option to elect to receive either $80.25 in cash or 1.4506 ETP common units, or a combination of both, for each share held. The shareholder election is subject to proration to ensure that aggregate cash paid and common units issued will each represent 50 percent of the aggregate merger consideration. Given the capital appreciation embedded in the stock price of Susser Holdings, the receipt of ETP units on a tax deferred basis should be attractive to long-term Susser shareholders.

ETP has entered into a support agreement with shareholders representing 10 percent of the outstanding Susser Holdings’ shares, pursuant to which such shareholders have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger and to elect to receive 100 percent ETP common units as their consideration, subject to the same pro ration as all other shareholders.

Overall, synergy opportunities are expected to exceed $70 million annually from fuel, merchandising and improved “buying power” reflecting economies of scale. Those commercial and operational synergies are expected to be realized within six-12 months post-closing. Additional savings are likely as systems and processes from both businesses are consolidated.

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