Company News

Sinclair Retail Extinction

Iconic oil company puts remaining gas stations on block for 2010 exit
SALT LAKE CITY -- Sinclair Oil Corp., which earlier this year announced that it was committed to exit the retail side of the petroleum business by the first quarter of 2010, said Monday that it is selling its remaining 29 Sinclair-branded gas stations located in six states.

"We have already sold approximately 60 locations to and through our jobber network, and this current offering aligns us with our company goal to get out of the retail business entirely by early next year," said Bud Blackmore, senior vice president of marketing and supply for Sinclair Oil.

Noting [image-nocss] financial difficulties in most of its business units, Sinclair Oil said in early August that it would divest its 90 company-owned and -operated convenience stores, essentially dismantling its retail division. (Click here for previous coverage.)

As reported yesterday in a CSP Daily News Flash, Sinclair is offering 26 of the 29 locations with real estate, and three are leased locations. The stores are located in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.

The stations on the block are being offered three ways: with a 10-year Sinclair branding and fuel supply agreement, without supply or for alternative use with a petroleum deed restriction.

Sinclair has retained The Energy Exchange to handle the sale. Bidders may bid on one, some, or all of the stores. The sale deadline is December 15. To obtain a list of the stores and questions concerning the sale, contact The Energy Exchange at (866) 906-7499.

"This sale is a great opportunity for an owner operator to walk into an established business with a strong brand to support them," said Phil Boyd, managing director of The Energy Exchange. "These stations are on great corners and the right operators with vision can take them to next level. We expect this sale to generate a high level of interest from prospective operators due to fact that many of the locations have large convenience stores with car washes."He also told CSP Daily News that Sinclair is "offering up these stores with branded supply or without, or for alternative use. So this opens up the sale to a lot of middle-sized jobbers and distributors and multi-branded distributors, because the sites are good-volume sitesone million to three million gallonsbut there is just not enough concentration of stores in order to offer up a distributorship. So it's a great opportunity for an owner-operator, but it's also a great opportunity for those medium-sized distributors that want to add some units, add some volume."

Boyd added that there are "a good handful" of "A" sites in the mix. "Two of the sites are big truckstops that are performing quite wellfour million gallons, a million inside. There are a couple sites that are old service stations, [so overall] this is probably a portfolio that would be classified as a 'B' portfolio."

Sinclair "did such a good job of selling packages to their distributor network that this is what's remaining," he said.The Energy Exchange, Chicago, is a commercial real-estate firm specializing in conventional and accelerated sales of gas stations and convenience stores nationwide.

Salt Lake City-based Sinclair has grown to become the seventh largest oil company in the United States. The original Sinclair Oil Co. began marketing the Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) company mark in 1930, and now after nearly 80 years, "Dino" still remains one of the most recognizable corporate logos in the world.

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