Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that CVC Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners — which took BJ’s Wholesale Club private for $2.8 billion in 2011 — have communicated their interest in acquiring Hess’ 1,300 station chain to the energy company.
The private equity firms have also retained financial advisers to study a possible bid for the chain, which could be combined with 200 BJ’s locations in 15 states.
As part of a restructuring plan to concentrate on oil and gas exploration and drilling, Hess has signaled that it will either sell or spin-off its gas stations. The company has not announced a formal auction for the chain, and has indicated that a spin-off could offer tax advantages. The company has been under pressure from an activist investor to streamline its business.
Rival oil firm Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has also signaled possible interest in Hess’ gas stations. It’s CEO has hinted that the chain could be combined with Marathon’s own Speedway chain of stations.
In July, Hess sold its energy marketing unit for about $1 billion.
Shares of Hess rose slightly in Wednesday morning trading.