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    *BREAKING NEWS*Cumberland Farms to Acquire ConocoPhillips' Northeast Assets

    More than 200 Exxon-branded convenience stores in three states are included in deal.

    CANTON, Mass. -- Cumberland Farms, one of the nation's largest family-owned convenience store petroleum marketers, is expanding its branded retail petroleum business in the Northeast after reaching a deal Thursday to acquire 200 Exxon-branded service stations from ConocoPhillips, CSNews Online has learned. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    "We are excited about this new chapter in the growth of Cumberland Farms," said Lily Bentas, president and chief executive of Cumberland Farms. "This acquisition allows us to provide even more customers with high quality petroleum products and services under another exceptional brand."

    In a concurrent transaction, Gulf Oil Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Cumberland Farms and Gulf, has agreed to become the supplier of motor fuels for the Exxon brand in New England and New York. Gulf has entered into an agreement to acquire the dealer and distributor supply contracts for the Exxon brand from ConocoPhillips. These dealers and distributors currently service over 600 Exxon locations.

    Under this agreement, Gulf will supply the customers with Exxon-branded products and will accept Exxon credit cards and Speedpass payment services.

    "We believe that the Exxon branded dealers and distributors will benefit from a supplier who is focused exclusively on their class of trade and headquartered within their region," said Gary Kaneb, president of Gulf. "The addition of the Exxon brand presents a unique opportunity for Gulf's growth in a market where it is positioned to deliver exceptional value."

    Exxon-branded stations being purchased by Cumberland Farms, which are located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, will join the branded Gulf stations there already owned by Cumberland Farms. The newly acquired stations will continue to provide Exxon products and offer customers Exxon credit cards and Speedpass payment services.

    "Our strategy is to expand our branded petroleum marketing presence within the Northeast and make Gulf and Exxon the service stations of choice," Bentas said. "Bringing the Exxon flag into the Cumberland Farms family is a big step in reaching this goal, as well as in reaching a whole new set of customers."

    With the acquisition, Cumberland Farms pushes its store count to more than 1,100 stores in the throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic States and Florida.

    Gulf will also purchase the leasehold interests of ConocoPhillips in their eleven Massachusetts Turnpike locations and has entered into a long-term supply agreement with ConocoPhillips for shipments originating out of its Bayway refinery located in New York Harbor.

    The Gulf brand has a franchisee and dealer network of more than 1,800 stores in the Northeast.

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