Aloha Deal Still a Go

FTC scrutiny not expect to derail purchase of 18 stations

HONOLULU -- Aloha Petroleum Inc. said its purchase of 18 former ARCO stations will likely close next month despite a joint anti-trust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Hawaii Attorney General's Office, reported The Honolulu Star.

Bob Maynard, president of Aloha Petroleum, told the newspaper that such investigations are part of the "normal process" when it comes to the sale of oil industry properties, and that he does not expect any delay in the deal.

As reported in CSP Daily News, Aloha Petroleum announced [image-nocss] earlier this year that it was acquiring the stations from U.S Restaurant Properties Inc.

The company also is purchasing U.S. Restaurant's 50% interest in the 500,000-barrel Aloha Petroleum Fuel Storage Terminal at Barbers Point, said the report. Aloha Petroleum owns the other 50% interest in the terminal facility.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Tuesday, U.S. Restaurant's successor company, Trustreet Properties Inc., said it received a letter from the AG's Office last week informing it of an anti-trust investigation. Trustreet said the AG's Office asked that it voluntarily provide records relating to the sale of the stations and its interest in the terminal facility.

Both Aloha Petroleum and Trustreet said they intend to cooperate with the request.

The pending deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will significantly expand the Aloha Petroleum's operations in the islands, the report said.

The company operates at 60 locations on Oahu and the Big Island. The new stations will operate under its Mahalo brand.

U.S. Restaurant had been trying to sell its Hawaii stations after the previous station operators, BC Oil Ventures, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000, according to the paper. BC Oil had operated in Hawaii under the ARCO brand.

Trustreet is an Orlando, Fla.-based real estate investment trust that was formed in February through the merger of U.S. Restaurant, CNL Restaurant Properties Inc. and 18 CNL income funds. CNL was a landlord for national fast-food chains such as Jack in the Box and Wendy's.