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    CHS to Acquire 33 Zip Trip C-stores

    The Spokane, Wash., area stores will be rebranded to the Cenex banner.

    INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- CHS Inc., an energy company that offers the Cenex brand to more than 1,600 convenience stores, signed a purchase agreement to acquire 33 Zip Trip convenience stores in the Spokane, Wash., area, the company stated.

    "We have a long history of serving Pacific Northwest consumers with Cenex-branded retail facilities and products and look forward to expanding in the Spokane market," Don Olson, senior vice president of refined fuels for CHS, said in a statement. "The proximity to our Laurel, Mont., refinery allows us to efficiently provide reliable supplies of quality gasoline and diesel fuel to these retail locations."

    The Zip Trip stores, owned in part by Jopo Inc. and Jo-By Enterprises LLC., will be rebranded to the Cenex banner and are expected to be complete by mid-summer 2008, according to the company. The stores will be owned and operated by CHS energy business, while using existing Zip Trip store management and retail staff. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    With this purchase, the Spokane, Wash., area will be the largest single metropolitan market for Cenex convenience stores in the U.S. Apart from this purchase, there are currently six Cenex retail locations in Spokane, Wash., operated by an independent dealer, the company stated.

    The majority of the 33 convenience stores are located in metropolitan Spokane, Wash., with additional facilities in Clarkston, Wash., and Lewiston, Couer'd Alene, Grangeville, Moscow and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, the company stated.

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