ampm Dawns in the East

BP selling 34 sites in Pittsburgh area for conversion

Published in CSP Daily News

PITTSBURGH A day after Uni-Mart LLC picked up 28 BP stations in the Youngstown, Ohio, area, BP is selling 34 existing BP-branded sites in the Pittsburgh area to become franchise sites. Buyers will initially operate these franchise sites under the BP Connect brand and complete their convenience store conversion and rebranding to the ampm identity after closing.

Franchising these sites as ampm is in line with BP's strategic plans to expand and grow the brand to reach more consumers with its products and services.

In addition to [image-nocss] the ampm franchises, BP is offering seven other Pittsburgh area sites as dealer-owned and -operated BP-branded stations that include buildings, fixtures and real property and eight other properties for sale for other commercial use.

With the introduction of BP ampm in the eastern United States, including in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, BP said it is leveraging the ampm franchising experience and market recognition in the western United States and internationally. There are about 1,000 franchisee-owned or -operated ampm franchise stores in the western United States.

While similar, the eastern and western U.S. ampm franchise offers are distinct from one another and subject to separate franchise documentation.

Our goal is to build and recruit a franchise network East of Rockies that complements our already distinctive BP brand, said Ben Amante, BP's vice president of U.S. franchising. We are offering franchise buyers the rare opportunity to purchase a franchise with real estate rights. We also see an opportunity to reflect the diverse communities where we operate by appealing to minority business people looking to franchise in the community. We look forward to building a strong network of franchisees to help us grow our business and deliver our products and services to more consumers.

Hope Mineo, managing director of Chicago-based NRC Realty Advisors, LLC (NRC), which BP has retained to sell the Pittsburgh sites, said, The BP brand is distinctive in the Pittsburgh area. This is a great ground-floor franchising opportunity. Franchisees become a part of ampm branding and own the real estate, bricks and mortar of the business.

The BP sites are being sold through NRC's sealed-bid sale process. NRC must receive sealed bids by March 13, 2007. Contact NRC for bid submission guidelines and further information regarding the BP sites and NRC's sealed-bid process at www.nrc.com/70 2.

Meanwhile, as reported in a CSP Daily News Flash yesterday, Uni-Mart has acquired 28 BP retail and wholesale fuel assets in the Youngstown, Ohio, market.

Of the 28 acquired sites, Uni-Mart will directly operate 21 BP-branded retail sites and supply 7 BP-branded dealer-operated retail sites. Under the terms of the agreement, all sites will remain branded BP.

With the addition of BP's Youngstown, Ohio, units, State College, Pa.-based Uni-Mart will have 288 convenience stores and Choice Cigarette Discount Outlets located in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio marketing more than 180 million gallons of motor fuels annually.

Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., Richmond, Va., provided acquisition advisory services for the transaction, which was managed by Tom Kelso, managing director and head of the Energy & Multi-Site Retail Group, and Spencer Cavalier, vice president, at Matrix.

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through 13,000 retail outlets. BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corp., Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol.