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CST Broadens Fuel Brand Portfolio With Phillips 66 Deal


SAN ANTONIO – Expanding its stable of fuel brands following its spinoff from Valero, CST Brands Inc. has signed an agreement with Phillips 66 with the opening of a new Corner Store convenience-store location in Tomball, Texas, to offer Phillips 66 fuel. The move adds Phillips 66 to Corner Store’s diversifying fuel portfolio.

The agreement also gives Corner Store the ability to share branding space on the fuel canopy to gain increased street-level visibility for its popular Corner Store brand.

As reported in a 21st Century Smoke/CSP Daily News Flash, CST Brands is planning to build additional Phillips 66 sites this year. The dual-branded canopy brings increased attention and traffic to both the fuel and in-store offerings.

After spinning off of Valero Energy Corp. in 2013, CST Brands added Shell fuel to its offerings in early 2015 with the acquisition of 22 former Timewise stores in San Antonio and Austin.

“We are excited about the opportunity to link the Phillips 66 fuel brand with a strong retail operator such as Corner Store. We look forward to additional opportunities to strengthen our branded presence in the Houston market and beyond with CST,” said Mike Krampf, manager of branded sales for Phillips 66.

At 4,650 square feet, the new Tomball Corner Store has a large, spacious format and features eight fueling stations with a diesel truck island.

“We are very excited to announce this new opportunity to partner with Phillips 66,” said Kim Lubel, president and CEO of CST Brands. “This has been a very good experience, and we look forward to working with Phillips 66 as we continue to grow.”

The average new-to-industry (NTI) Corner Store rings up close to twice the volume of fuel and merchandise as a legacy store in the U.S. network. CST Brands plans to continue its growth in 2015 with the building of 45 to 50 NTI stores in the United States and Canada.

Phillips 66, Houston, is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company with a portfolio of midstream, chemicals, refining and marketing and specialties businesses.

San Antonio-based CST Brands has approximately 1,900 gas stations and convenience stores throughout the United States and eastern Canada. In the United States, CST Corner Stores sell fuel and signature products such as Fresh Choices baked and packaged goods, UForce energy and sport drinks, Cibolo Mountain coffee, FC bottled sodas and Flavors2Go fountain drinks. In Canada, CST is the exclusive provider of Ultramar fuel and its Dépanneur du Coin and Corner Stores sell signature Transit Café coffee and pastries. CST also owns the general partner of CrossAmerica Partners LP, a wholesale distributor of fuels that serves more than 1,100 locations across 23 states.

Albertsons Files for IPO


BOISE, Idaho — Supermarket retailer Albertsons Cos. Inc. has announced that it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of shares of its common stock.

In the filing, it said it hoped to raise $100 million to repay existing debt, to pay fees and expenses related to the offering and for general corporate purposes.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons incorporated Albertsons Cos. Inc. in June for the purpose of reorganizing the structure of AB Acquisition to undertake the offering.

In March 2013, Albertsons acquired a group of stores owned by Supervalu for $100 million in cash plus the assumption of an estimated $3.1 billion in debt. The deal included 871 retail food stores under Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s Star Market and Albertsons banners and 10 distribution centers.

In December 2013, Albertsons acquired United Supermarkets for $362.1 million in cash, expanding its presence in North and West Texas, in a transaction that offered significant synergies and added a differentiated upscale store format, Market Street, to its portfolio. At the time, United operated 51 traditional, specialty and Hispanic retail food stores under its United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos banners, seven convenience stores and 26 fuel centers under its United Express banner and three distribution centers. United is located in 30 markets across North and West Texas.

In January 2015, the company completed its acquisition of Safeway by acquiring all of the outstanding shares of Safeway for $8.3 billion. At the time of the Safeway acquisition, Safeway operated 1,325 retail food stores under the banners Safeway, Vons, Tom Thumb, Pavilions, Randalls and Carrs located principally in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition, at the time of the Safeway acquisition, Safeway had 353 fuel centers, 15 distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities.

As a condition to approving the Safeway acquisition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) required the sale of 111 Albertsons stores and 57 Safeway stores. Haggen Food and Pharmacy purchased 146 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington; Associated Wholesale Grocers purchased 12 stores in Texas; Associated Food Stores purchased eight stores in Montana and Wyoming; and SuperValu purchased two stores in Washington. The aggregate sales price of these stores was $327.5 million plus the book value of inventory.

The transfer of these stores to the respective buyers commenced following the closing of the Safeway acquisition and was completed in first-quarter fiscal 2015 in accordance with the asset purchase agreements.

Albertsons is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. As of June 20, 2015, it operated 2,205 stores across 33 states under 18 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market and Carrs. It operates in 121 metropolitan statistical areas MSAs and is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 by market share in 68% of them. It has 1,698 pharmacies and 378 adjacent fuel centers.

Gulf Oil Expands Loyalty Program


FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Gulf Oil LP, a major branded marketer of energy products, has announced the expansion of its new Power Points Loyalty Program designed to help Gulf retailers increase revenue, build stronger relationships with existing customers and attract new and loyal customers.

The program awards points to Gulf customers for everyday spending at more than 28,000 online stores as well as many brick-and-mortar locations. Customers can redeem their points for Gulf gift cards, or pay Gulf Orange Card balances.

The program has no fees and requires no site upgrades or technology. Gulf is rolling out Power Points is to dealers now, and beginning on July15, Gulf gas stations will promote the program with pump signage, cashier handouts and a text-to-learn program.

New and existing Gulf customers enroll online. Once their account is set up, they begin earning points on purchases made at more than 28,000 retail and online locations, including merchants like Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Home Depot and thousands more.

As the points accumulate, customers can use them to earn free $25 or $50 Gulf Gift Cards to purchase gas or other items at any of the more than 2,500 Gulf gas stations across the nation and to pay a portion or all of their Gulf Orange credit-card bill.

In addition to aligning Gulf dealers with other national brands, the Power Points Program will help drive incremental fuel sales, increase gas stations’ Gulf Orange Card customer bases, expose them to thousands of potential new customers and encourage inside spending by increasing savings at the pump.

“This exciting loyalty program is another important part of our ongoing efforts to help every one of our Gulf dealers succeed,” said Gulf Oil Senior vice president and chief sales and marketing officer Rick Dery. “As one of the fastest growing energy companies in the nation, we continue to offer impactful programs that keep customers loyal to our iconic brand–and add fuel to our national expansion efforts while increasing our market share.”

Gulf Oil, Framingham, Mass., is a national, branded supplier of motor fuels throughout the United States. It is one of the Northeast’s largest wholesalers of refined petroleum products, and distributes motor fuels through a network of more than 2,500 branded gas stations, 12 proprietary oil terminals and more than 130 other supply points. Gulf Oil supplies gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel and kerosene through its terminal network.

Gas-Mart Navigates Legal Challenges


OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Facing legal actions that include a challenge to its recent filing for Chapter 11, officials with the 42-store Gas-Mart USA chain revealed new details about the infighting that played a role in the company’s current financial crossroads.

According to the company’s president, David George, a key dispute is over a buy-sell agreement involving the two 50-50 shareholders, with Gas-Mart officers on one side (David George, Michael George and the George Family Trust) and Abraham J. Gustin Revocable Trust and Gregory Gustin (Abe Gustin died in 2010) on the other.

The disagreement dates back five years, George told CSP Daily News, and deals with the value of that original agreement. The main issue, he said, is “the monetary demand for their claim—over 20 times what other buy-sell agreements” are valued at.

That said, George admits the company did have cash flow problems, which eventually led to their bankruptcy filing on July 2. As reported in CSP Daily News, George and his team have taken measures to reorganize the chain’s operations and intend to emerge from Chapter 11 in a year to 18 months.

In the meantime, filings from the Gustin camp have made allegations of misappropriation of funds, alleged activity without the approval of a mutually agreed upon “custodian” and allegations that the bankruptcy itself is invalid. Lawyers representing the Gustin families did not return a request for comment by press time. George did not comment on these specific allegations.

George, however, did comment on one of the allegations. The court documents allege that Gas-Mart’s current CEO, John Tittle Jr., “did not like having to work under [the custodian John] Sopinski.” Tittle met with Sopinski in late June to discuss restructuring plans that Tittle was supposed to be formulating, stated the documents. Tittle told Sopinski that he wanted to buy the business after it got turned around with the Georges as his partners, and that “Sopinski’s salary should be cut in half because the company could not afford both of their salaries and he was not really necessary,” the documents stated.

According to George, the shareholders did go to court and made a deal to place “someone in here to give guidance on the company.”

With the opposing shareholders not living where the business operated and not active in its operations, George said the opposition wanted representation. “They put a guy in here who was drawing a large salary,” George said. “He’s the highest paid person here and wasn’t contributing to the company. He was a watchdog for the other partners for two and a half months, taking away from our time and the hours in the day.”

George said they welcome Sopinski and described the company as an “open book,” but said, “We just can’t pay the salary [they’re] demanding.”

The legal wrangling has taken “so much of management’s time” and the company has had to bare the “financial cost of that,” George said.

In recent weeks, however, George said the company has refocused its efforts on developing a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. Having secured a $1.5 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) loan from a local bank, they’ve entered into negotiations with suppliers to restock both fuel and grocery inventories.

“It’s been an extreme amount of work,” George said. “And we have a strong plan to emerge [from bankruptcy].”

Angel Abcede

1 445 446 447

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