Sunoco to Lighten Portfolio

Refiner-marketer to sell 165 sites, but not ready to leave retail

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator

PHILADELPHIA -- Though announcing the sale of 165 sites in the eastern United States, Sunoco Inc., with its current network at 1,114, is not getting out of retail as other oil companies in recent months have decided, officials told CSP Daily News.

Part of an ongoing review designed to maximize its physical assets, Sunoco announced the sale of 134 operating retail-fuel outlets, 14 non-operating locations expected to re-open and 17 commercial properties in 12 states as far north as New York and down into South Carolina, as reported in a CSP Daily News Flash[image-nocss] em> yesterday.

"These locations are being sold as part of a continuing review of Sunoco-branded retail outlets," said Robert Owens, senior vice president of marketing for Sunoco, "with the goal of maximizing return on capital employed and cash flow from our assets."

The refiner-marketer has an established "retail portfolio management" program that's been ongoing for several years, said spokesperson Thomas Golembeski, noting that between 2005 and 2007, the company generated $162 million in the divestment of 211 sites under the same program.

In a quarterly investment call yesterday, Owens said the newly announced sale is expected to bring in $180 million. The company's intention is to continue supplying gasoline to the locations through long-term direct-supplied or distributor-supplied agreements.

The properties are located in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The locations will be sold through a sealed-bid sale in a "buy one, some or all" format with bids due on April 15, 2009, the company said. A complete list of sites is available online at www.nrc.com/822, or by calling the company handling the sale directly, NRC Realty Advisors in Chicago at (800) 747-3342, Ext. 822.

NRC will conduct a series of free "how to bid" seminars during March in the following cities: Orlando, Fla., on March 3; Charlotte, N.C., on March 4; Philadelphia on March 10; Syracuse, N.Y., on March 11; and Cleveland on March 12.

For each property, NRC has prepared a color sales brochure and property-specific package, which contains store-level information and the bidding terms of the sale. Packets are available for $35 for a hard copy and $25 for a CD-ROM. Individual bid packages will be ready in late February.

"These are prime retail properties that will provide excellent investment opportunities to the right buyers," said Hope Mineo, managing director of NRC, Chicago.

Philadelphia-based Sunoco is a manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products. With 910,000 barrels per day of refining capacity, approximately 4,700 retail sites selling gasoline and convenience items, approximately 6,000 miles of crude oil and refined product owned-and-operated pipelines and 44 product terminals, Sunoco is one of the largest independent refiner-marketers in the United States.

NRC provides a variety of real estate and financial advisory services to the convenience store and petroleum industries. In addition, NRC specializes in the accelerated sale of North American commercial and residential real estate. Clients include globally recognized companies in a variety of industries, including petroleum (BP, Shell and Sunoco), c-stores (White Hen Pantry), financial institutions (GE Capital, Bank One, Fifth Third and Wachovia) and retail (Kmart).

Editor's Note: For more on recent merger-and-acquisition activity in the convenience-store channel, look for CSP magazine's February 2009 cover story.

By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator
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