What Does Sunoco Say About 'Sale'?

New wrinkle to report of c-store selloff talks

Sunoco

DALLAS -- Sunoco is denying reports that Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) has held talks to sell its general partner interest in Sunoco LP. Citing sources familiar with the matter, a Reuters report earlier this week broke the news that the convenience-store network's owner had discussed and rejected a sale of the chain, sparking speculation over potential buyers.

In response to the Reuters report--cited by general and trade media outlets including CSP Daily News--Sunoco spokesperson Jeff Shields provided the following statement: "The facts stated in the article are not accurate. No such discussions have been held, and Energy Transfer Equity has no intention to sell the GP of Sunoco LP. Since 2012, Energy Transfer has received many unsolicited calls from parties interested in the Sunoco assets, and Energy Transfer has consistently responded to the inbound calls explaining that the company has no interest in selling. We fully expect to continue to be a positive contributor to ETE."

Sunoco president and CEO Bob Owens sent a letter Tuesday to employees to deny the report and said the company has no intention to sell.

"The facts stated in the article are not accurate. No such discussions have been held. [ETE] has no intention to sell the [general partner] of Sunoco LP," said the letter obtained by The Caller-Times.

Owens said Energy Transfer Partners has received many unsolicited calls from parties interested in Sunoco assets over the years, but that the company isn't entertaining offers.

"This level of interest, which we should all find flattering, is reflective of both the value of our assets, including the iconic Sunoco brand, and the performance of our enterprise," he wrote.

"I hope this will allay any concerns about rumors swirling in the media. Unfortunately we can't prevent the rumors, but we can stay focused on continuing the remarkable growth of our company."

Dallas-based ETE is an MLP that owns the general partner and 100% of the incentive distribution rights (IDRs) of ETP and Sunoco LP. Its family of companies owns and operates approximately 71,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, refined products and crude oil pipelines. ETP is an MLP owning and operating one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United States.

ETP acquired Sunoco Inc. in April 2012.

Houston-based Sunoco LP is a master limited partnership (MLP) that operates 900 convenience stores and gas stations under several brands, including Stripes and Aloha Island Mart. It operates 725 Stripes c-stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, 125 Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS) and Tigermarket c-stores in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and 50 Aloha, Shell and Mahalo c-stores and gas stations in Hawaii. It distributes motor fuel to gas stations, c-stores, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors located in more than 30 states at 6,800 sites, both directly and through its 31.58% interest in Sunoco LLC, owned in partnership with ETP. Its parent, ETE, owns Sunoco LP’s general partner and incentive distribution rights. ETP owns a 36.4% limited partner interest.

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, Sunoco LP acquired the remaining 68.42% of Sunoco LLC and 100% interest in the legacy Sunoco Inc. retail business from Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), including 438 company-operated Sunoco and APlus branded c-stores and other retail fuel outlets across the country, for $2.226 billion.