Western Refining Saying Bye to Howdy's

No longer pursuing acquisition of 13-store chain

EL PASO, Texas -- Western Refining Inc. is no longer pursuing the acquisition of Howdy's convenience store chain in El Paso, Texas, reported The El Paso Times.

Western Refining had been discussing buying the Howdy's stores, but "we decided it's not something we wanted to pursue," Paul Foster, CEO of El Paso-based Western Refining, told the newspaper.

He would not discuss the reasons behind the decision, said the report.Troy Calhoun, executive vice president of Transmountain Oil, could not comment other than telling CSP Daily News the Howdy's acquisition was not completed because, "It [image-nocss] was not going to be a good deal for Western or for Transmountain Oil Co." Calls from CSP Daily News to Western Refining went unreturned.Foster and two other Western executives continue to own a majority share in Transmountain Oil, also based in El Paso, which owns the Howdy's stores, the report said.

Calhoun told theEl Paso Timesin January 2007 that his company had been working with Western Refining for about two years to develop a retail gasoline brand and the new gold-and-black W logo. He said at the time that it was possible more Howdy's stores in the El Paso and Las Cruces market could sell the Western brand in the future.

There are 13 Howdy's c-stores in Texas and New Mexico. The locations offer Shell or Western Refining brands of fuel. Howdy 's locations feature drive-thru windows, GECU affiliated ATMs and pay-at-the-pump. They also offer the Automated Fueling System proprietary network to fleet commercial customers.

Howdy's has created its market niche by offering a large selection of imported and microbrewed beer and wines, it said. Some locations have McDonald's and a car wash.