WEST FARGO, N.D. — In a deal that increases its buying power in the petroleum and convenience-store business, Petro Serve USA will acquire Valley Dairy, a local chain of nine convenience stores, two with fuel, and four car washes in Grand Forks, N.D., and East Grand Forks, Minn.
The deal closed on Dec. 1, Petro Serve CEO Kent Satrang recently told The Grand Forks Herald.
Valley Dairy will operate as a cooperative, just as Petro Serve does, said the report. Valley Dairy will buy gasoline through Petro Serve.
The stores will keep the Valley Dairy name, given its longevity and reputation in the Grand Forks area, said the report.
“The name will stay the same, all of the c-store employees are all staying on and the office is staying open,” Satrang told the newspaper. “I don’t think you’ll see a lot of change there.”
“We understand the brand equity that Valley Dairy has in the city of Grand Forks and with the University of North Dakota and with the charities up there and with the community itself,” he said. “So we’re not going to change a lot.”
Valley Dairy President Monica Musich, who will stay with the company as a consultant, said it was simply the right time to sell. “It was a great opportunity,” she told the paper.
“It’s a little bittersweet, but I’m so excited about who’s taking over,” she added in a press release announcing the sale. “They’re such great people, and we have been friends for many years, and I have always been impressed as to how they operate their stores.”
She said what she will miss the most about the sale of the convenience stores is the employees who have helped make the chain a success and the community involvement that she has been able to perform while owning the stores, such as the efforts on behalf of the Salvation Army, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the ALS association, the Amelia Grey Humanitarian Scholarship, Cystic Fibrosis and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with proceeds going to the Altru Cancer Center.
Terry Monroe of American Business Brokers & Advisors, based in Effingham, Ill., and Bill Fecht of W.J.F. Services Inc., based in Normal, Ill., provided merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory services to Valley Dairy and Monica Musich.
Valdak Corp., based in Grand Forks, N.D., owns and operates the Valley Dairy Convenience Stores and Valley Car Washes. The company traces its roots to 1956, when it went by Thrift Inc., which bought the Valley Dairy c-stores in the mid-1960s. At that time, it changed its name to Valdak Corp., which means “Valley of the Dakotas,” and it expanded into the gasoline and car-wash business in 1979.
Energy cooperative Petro Serve USA, based in West Fargo, N.D., has 24 stores in North Dakota and Minnesota. Its stores have 16 Hot Stuff Pizza units and operate under the Cenex, Tesoro and PetroServe USA brands of fuel.