The family that developed Southland Corp. from an ice company into the nation's largest operator of convenience stores, 7-Eleven, will relinquish the control they have held for nearly 60 years as the company is restructured.
Southland said officials from the Japanese companies that would buy a majority of Southland's stock will dominate the board and management, including Masatoshi Ito as chairman.Ito would replace chairman John P. Thompson, son of the late Joe C. Thompson, the patriarch who developed Southland.
Ito is president of Ito-Yokado Group and chairman of 7-Eleven Japan, the two companies that propose paying $430 million to buy 70 percent of Southland.
Clark Matthews, Southland's chief financial officer, would become the company's president and chief executive officer, according to the plan filed Monday. He would replace Jere Thompson.
Toshifumi Suzuki, Ito-Yokado executive vice president, would become vice chairman of Southland's board.
The announcement confirmed speculation about a severely reduced role for the Thompsons that followed Southland's first proposals in March for a restructuring. In an offer revised several times since then, Southland wants to exchange $1.8 billion in expensive loans for less costly notes and sell control of the company to the Japanese companies for the much-needed cash.
Southland filed a prepackaged bankruptcy plan in October after gaining approval from the company's major creditors. Southland hopes to emerge from court protection within months.