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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Louisville family that owns Thorntons, the six-state gas station chain based here and founded in 1971, will sell the chain to a joint venture of oil and gas giant BP and Boston-based private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners, according to a news release Monday.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The BP-ArcLight joint venture will keep the Thorntons name and retain employees working at the Thorntons headquarters in eastern Jefferson County, according to a press release.

At last count in 2017, 148 people were employed at the headquarters off Old Henry Road, according to a state database.

Asked whether all headquarters will keep their jobs, a Thorntons spokeswoman sent a statement saying “all of our team members” will be part of the company’s “next chapter.”

The statement did not address whether Thorntons CEO Matt Thornton, son of company founder James H. Thornton, will continue as the company’s CEO.

“We are excited to begin this new chapter of our trusted brand in our hometown with all of our team members,” Thorntons said in the statement. “Subject to regulatory approval, we’ll join forces with two great companies to help us grow our business and delight even more guests with our ever improving offer.”

Thorntons has 191 gas station-convenience stores in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

The sale will pave the way for the chain’s expansion, according to the news release.

“My family and the Thorntons team are incredibly proud of the company we have built over the last 47 years,” Matt Thornton said in the news release. “While we are proud of where we are today, our vision extends well beyond 191 stores in six states and we know this new joint venture will help us to accelerate store growth and serve even more guests every day.”

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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Chris Otts reports for about business and economic topics, higher education and local / state government. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after seven years with The Courier-Journal. Got a tip? Chris is at 502-585-0822 and