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June 1999 Issue Highlights

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Tosco To Drop BP Brand, Will Rebrand Western Stations to 76
TransCanada To Sell Northridge Petroleum
Few Consumers Observe Boycott
76 Station Donates Profits to Charity
Tri Valley Acquires Salt Lake City Service Stations


PHOENIX, AZ. — Tosco will begin rebranding the majority of its service stations to the the 76 and Circle K trademarks. Among the first locations targeted for rebranding are stations that Tosco operates under the BP brand. These stations are located primarily in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Many stations have already been rebranded over dealer protests.

Tosco had purchased the right to the BP brand when it acquired the stations several years ago. However, Tosco has reached a deal with BP to sell them their brand back over the next two years — undoubtedly a precursor for BP opening their own branded stations in the territory.

"Tosco will be returning the marque to BP over the next two years," said Tosco CEO Thomas O'Malley, adding that he "expects the consideration to be received to more than offset any expenses of conversion" of the BP stations to the 76 and Circle K brands.


CALABASAS, CA. — TransCanada PipeLines Limited, the parent company of Northridge Petroleum, has announced plans to sell its U.S. petroleum and products marketing and trading businesses.

The company will also sell its midstream Gulf Shore properties. TransCanada had acquired the Northridge group of companies in 1994. In addition to the company's offices in the Los Angeles area, TransCanada Northridge also operates locations in Houston, TX., and Charlotte, NC., marketing 69 million barrels of crude oil, 85 million barrels of refined products and 22 million barrels of natural gas liquids in 1998.

George Watson, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer, said the decision to sell is part of his company's strategic plan. ``We are focusing our portfolio on those areas of greatest competitive advantage,'' said Watson. "The U.S. petroleum and products marketing and trading businesses are not part of our strategy going forward.'' He continued, ``These businesses have been profitable and will have a stronger platform for growth with a new corporate affiliation.''


LOS ANGELES, CA. — Few drivers observed a gasoline boycott scheduled for April 30, despite wide-range calls for the one-day protest against rising fuel prices. A group of consumers asked drivers to stay away from service stations on April 30, hoping to bring down the street priceof gasoline by their boycott. Word of the protest was sent to drivers via e-mail accounts.

The "Great American Gas Out" was ineffective, however, as most service stations reported little or no change in their throughput on the day of the planned boycott. "Business was the same as it always is on a Friday," reported one clerk.

Some stations, like the Mission Valley Chevron in San Diego, CA., reported approximately 75 picketers during the lunch hour. Most were gone after lunch, however, and the action had little effect on their gallonage for the day.


GLENDALE, CA. — A 76 service station owner is donating 10 percent of his profits for the month of April to benefit earthquake victims in Armenia and provide aid to the country.

Mark Tavoukjian, who owns Mark's 76 station at Glendale and Wilson Avenues here, is donating the money to the Armenia Fund, which provides assistance to Armenia and its Karabagh region for victims of the 1998 earthquake. The money from the service station's donation will be used to help build a north-south highway in the Karabagh region, according to the Armenia Fund's executive director.


HEBER, UT. — Tri–Valley Distributing, Inc., based here, is acquiring seven service stations in the Salt Lake City area. Two of the stations will be remodeled and upgraded.

The deal was reportedly valued at $8.5 million and was financed by Franchise Finance Corporation of America of Scottsdale, AZ.

Announcing the acquisition, Noel R. Cook, president and CEO of Tri-Valley Distributing, said, "The acquisition of these outlets fits well into our strategy for growing the company in geographic areas that complement our existing operations. We feel we have an excellent understanding of the convenience store and gas station market in the southwest and look upon the acquisitions as a great opportunity." Tri-Valley Distributing operates approximately 60 gasoline stations and c-stores in the Southwest under the Texaco, Amoco and Chevron brands.

Originally published in the June 1999 issue of O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 1999 by KAL Publications Inc.

Serving the 13 Western States, the World's Largest Gasoline, Oil, Fuel, TBA and Automotive Service Market