Apr 24, 2023 - Business

Kum & Go sale could have harsh implications to downtown Des Moines

A photo of Kum & Go.

Photo: Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kum & Go's pending sale to a Utah-based company could mark another headquarters loss for downtown Des Moines.

Driving the news: Company headquarters are generally considered to be a business's most important location, one where many executive and management staff are based.

  • They're also important to the downtown business district's vibrancy and ability to support small businesses.

Catch up fast: Kum & Go, owned by the Krause Group, has more than 400 convenience stores in 13 states.

  • It's been a DSM-based business for more than 60 years, with its executive headquarters at the Krause Gateway Center.

Why it matters: Kum & Go''s convenience store chain is being purchased by Maverik — Adventure's First Stop, the companies announced in a joint statement Friday.

  • Maverik owns about as many stores as Kum & Go in 12 western states.
  • It's also acquiring Solar Transport, a tank truck carrier owned by the Krause Group.

Of note: Financial terms were not disclosed but the transaction is expected to close in coming months.

  • Both companies declined to comment Friday beyond their joint statement.
  • It remains unclear how the transaction may affect local stores and employees.

Flashback: DSM-based Meredith Corp. was sold in 2021 to a New-York based company, and while some of its publications remain downtown, there has been downsizing.

  • And Wells Fargo announced this year that it is moving most metro employees to its West Des Moines campus.

What they're saying: Job consolidations in the Kum & Go sale would most likely be among corporate employees, ISU economist Peter Orazem tells Axios.

  • DSM city manager Scott Sanders tells Axios he is "disheartened" about Kum & Go's pending sale.

Yes, but: A pending $84 million professional soccer stadium being proposed by Pro Iowa and Krause+ — Kum & Go's real estate arm —is still on track.

  • The groups told city officials Friday that they remain committed to the project, Sanders says.

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