Company News

ConocoPhillips Store Sale on Track

Major oil's corporate retail employees expected to be out of the job
KENT, Wash. -- Contrary to rumors on several levels, a deal by Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC to purchase the remaining 600 ConocoPhillips convenience stores is expected to go through as planned, likely closing on January 30, as will the related resale of 92 of those sites to K&G Petroleum LLC. "That date was set in early January, and all vendors are notified of the change," a source close to K&G told CSP Daily News yesterday.

Initially, the deal, which was announced in August by Pacific Convenience's parent company PetroSun West, was scheduled to close [image-nocss] December 15. Some contract issues with ConocoPhillips dealer-operated sites apparently forced a delay of the closing; however, "everything appears to be on schedule" to close at the end of the month, according to the source, who requested anonymity.

Following the delay of the closing on the $800 million deal, speculation arouse regarding Houston-based ConocoPhillips' sale of its remaining 600 c-stores to independent petroleum-retail and c-store operator PetroSun West. Some sources speculated about Kent, Wash.-based PetroSun's financial wherewithal to close the deal; however, one source close to the deal, speaking under condition of anonymity, said that the deal likely was postponed for reasons relating to dealer contracts, not credit issues.

Once the deal does close, the sites that PetroSun West is keeping are expected to become Circle K stores, growing that brand's presence on the West Coast, while the sites will maintain ConocoPhillips' gasoline brands.

At the same time, much or all of ConocoPhillips' retail-management employees will be looking for new jobs. Another source close to the deal told CSP Daily News, "Pacific Convenience & Fuel plans to utilize [Circle K parent company] Couche-Tard's category-management support team as a franchisee, and indicated that they would not offer jobs to any of the [ConocoPhillips] headquarters group."

One source said ConocoPhillips is offering severance packages to those employees.

K&G Petroleum, which generally does business as Jenny's Market, also was mulling maintaining the Circle K brand at some or all of the stores it is purchasing in Utah, New Mexico, Kansas and Missouri. K&G also did not interview ConocoPhillips headquarter staff, a source said.

Attempts to contact officials with ConocoPhillips and PetroSun West for this story were unsuccessful at presstime.

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