Wawa, Inc’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) has purchased additional stock from a trust comprised of members of the Company’s founding family, increasing their employees’ ownership stake in the convenience store chain. This is the first time the ESOP trust has purchased stock from the founding family. Wawa, headquartered in Pennsylvania, has stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and most recently in Florida. PCE serviced as advisor to Wawa.
“People are the most important part of the Wawa brand, and shared ownership is one of the most important ways that we ‘value people’. We are delighted to expand our associate ownership, as we believe that the combination of our private and shared ownership and our culture provides a competitive advantage that distinguishes us from other businesses and retailers,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa President and Chief Executive Officer.
“There are many structuring options when considering a purchase of shares by an ESOP and it was an asset to have PCE on board, due to their deep ESOP and corporate finance experience.” Jay Culotta, Wawa Treasurer. “As our associates are our most valuable asset, we are proud to provide them the opportunity to increase their ownership in their company.”
“Wawa is a great company and one of the largest, most successful ESOP – owned companies in the Country. It was our pleasure to work with them through this transaction and we look forward to our continued relationship,” Will Stewart, PCE Investment Bankers.
About Wawa, Inc.: Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, PA, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and “certified” process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products. Today, Wawa is your all day, everyday stop for fresh built-to-order foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 600 convenience retail stores (more than 300 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and now Central Florida. The stores offer a large fresh food selection, including Wawa brands such as built-to-order hoagies, freshly-brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order Specialty Beverages, and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.
About PCE Investment Bankers, Inc.: PCE Investment Bankers is a leading investment bank for middle-market companies, offering clients a full range of investment banking services including mergers and acquisitions, ESOPs, business valuations, litigation support, growth capital options, fairness opinions, advisory planning research and stock-index services. PCE Investment Bankers is experienced in all market sectors and has established several practice areas, including Consumer, Diversified Industrial – Infrastructure & Power, HealthCare, Construction & Building Products, Manufacturing, and Food.