Western Refining Leasing Polk Oil Stations

Rebranding 11 locations in central N.M.; would pursue similar deals

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

EL PASO, Texas -- Western Refining Inc. has worked out a long-term lease agreement with Espanola, N.M.-based Polk Oil for 11 gas station convenience stores in central New Mexico.

"This is similar to some of the deals we've done in the last few months. ... We have taken over management of those, and we're in the process of rebranding those to Giant convenience stores," Gary Hanson, spokesperson for Western Refining, told CSP Daily News.

It will be a 60-day process--"hopefully a little less," he said.

"All of those stores are located in that Santa Fe-Taos, N.M--they are mostly in small communities in that central New Mexico area. Fuel is primarily branded Shell, Chevron and Conoco, and [the stations] will continue to sell those branded fuels, but we'll change the name of the convenience stores to Giant."

The deal is a continuation of the company's strategy "that if there are opportunities that we become aware of that make sense from a capital standpoint--preferably long-term lease arrangements versus outright purchase--we'll try to take advantage of those if we feel like those stores will fit into our system in our general region. These [Polk Oil locations] seemed to fit that profile."

Hanson said the deal is very similar to its September 2011 acquisition in Southeast New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, of 35 Howdy's c-stores (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

"It's opportunistic--we're not out actively looking, but at the same time, if we come across an opportunity that makes sense and the terms are right, we'll try to take advantage of it."

Western Refining is an independent refining and marketing company with headquarters in El Paso, Texas. Western operates refineries in El Paso, and Gallup, N.M. Western's asset portfolio also includes stand-alone refined products terminals in Albuquerque and Bloomfield, N.M., asphalt terminals in Albuquerque, El Paso and Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., retail stations and convenience stores in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, a fleet of crude oil and finished product truck transports and wholesale petroleum products operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia.

Western Refining Southwest Inc., its retail division, owns and operates approximately 222 convenience stores and gas stations located in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. The company markets under its own brands of Giant, Mustang and Sundial. A number of locations feature the brands of other oil companies and license Western branded fuel to other retail stores.