- Mountain Express Oil has agreed to sell the intellectual property rights for 25 convenience stores in Wisconsin and Michigan to convenience retailer and tire and auto services company Team Schierl Companies, according to a Sept. 25 filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas and a source familiar with the matter.
- The locations — which operate under The Store banner — were initially owned by Schierl, which executed a sale-leaseback agreement with Mountain Express for them in early 2022. They are scattered across 17 different areas of Wisconsin and two regions in Michigan.
- As Mountain Express liquidates its assets amid Chapter 7 bankruptcy, its trustee has agreed to sell the intellectual property rights for all 25 stores back to Schierl for $1 million and the dismissal of ongoing legal claims Schierl has against Mountain Express.
When the sale-leaseback deal closed in March 2022, the companies agreed that Mountain Express would reimburse Schierl for repairs done to these stores. According to court documents, Mountain Express has not paid for this work over the past year and half, including plumbing, electrical and air conditioning maintenance.
As of July, Mountain Express owed Schierl over $367,000 in reimbursable repair expenses, court documents show.
By buying the intellectual property rights for these stores back from Mountain Express, Schierl has agreed to dismiss these owed expenses, in addition to paying the $1 million. Once this transaction closes, Schierl will own all registered trademarks, logos, property rights, contacts, permits, leasehold interests, franchise rights, records and customer and vendor information associated with these locations.
The transaction is expected to close immediately, according to court documents.
In addition to the 25 convenience stores, Stevens Point, Wisconsin-based Team Schierl Companies operates several Subway restaurants and vehicle service locations in Wisconsin.
Founded in 2000, Alpharetta, Georgia-based Mountain Express Oil formerly distributed fuel to 855 locations around the country, including 27 travel centers, and operated about 171 retail stores. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, and shifted to Chapter 7 — terminating its entire operation and firing all employees — in late August.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that Mountain Express sold the stores themselves, not the intellectual property rights, to Schierl.