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    BP to Sell 78 Chicago Area Properties

    Of those, 65 will be sold as franchises and re-branded to ampm.

    NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Continuing with the company's plan, announced in November 2007, to divest its retail assets, BP's U.S. Convenience Retail unit will sell 78 Chicago area retail sites through NRC Realty Advisors LLC, the real estate firm stated.

    Of the 78 sites, 65 are available for franchise and will be rebranded as ampm stores with BP-brand gas, three are available as debranded gasoline sites, 10 are available as BP dealer sites with fuel agreements only and four are for sale with multiple offerings including commercial use, according to the company.

    "The ampm franchise is very strong," Fiona MacLeod, president of BP U.S. Convenience Retail, said in a statement. "The ampm franchise was the only convenience store owned by an integrated oil and gas company to make Entrepreneur's 2008 Franchise 500, where its West of Rockies operations ranked 35th, and the Franchise Times' Top 200, where its West of Rockies operations ranked 39th."

    BP has approximately 700 company-owned and operated convenience stores, all of which will be sold over a two-year period, the company stated.

    "The ampm brand has a 30-year proven track record in some of the most competitive marketing areas in the U.S.," said MacLeod. "Franchising under the ampm brand across the U.S. just makes sense."

    The company's work to include minority franchisees in its network continues with this sale. "As much as possible, we want ampm stores to be owned and operated by people who live in the communities we serve," said MacLeod.

    Interested parties can make offers to NRC by April 8, 2008. Prospective buyers are required to attend a complimentary seminar in Chicago, where representatives from BP and NRC will provide information related to BP franchising, fuel supply and the NRC offering process, the company stated.

    Reservations and a completed franchise application are required for attendance. For more information or to register, call NRC at (800) 747-3342, ext. 803. The franchise application is available for download at www.nrc.com/bp.

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