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    Getty Realty, GPMI Agree to Payment Terms

    If approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the stipulation is intended to help both parties, as well as independent Getty c-store owners.

    JERICHO, N.Y. -- Getty Realty Corp.and Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) have come to a rent payment agreement intended to avoid lengthy and costly litigation.

    The agreement, called a stipulation, has been struck between Getty Realty, GPMI and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. The stipulation will not become official unless agreed upon by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. A hearing on the matter will take place April 2.

    As CSNews Online reported in December, GPMI, which leases approximately 800 convenience stores/gas stations from Getty Realty, declared bankruptcy on Dec. 5, but said it would operate normally during the process.

    However, sole proprietors who sub-lease c-stores from GPMI told CSNews Online that questions still remained about whether their stores would see any changes. All of the nearly 800 GPMI c-stores are located in the Northeast, with a large concentration located in New York and Connecticut.

    According to a press release issued this morning by Getty Realty, GPMI has paid $10.3 million of the approximately $19 million it owes in rent for the period of Dec. 5 to March 31.

    Terms of the stipulation call for GPMI to pay an additional $1.5 million in alleged unpaid rent by April 1. All remaining monies due under GPMI's master lease with Getty Realty are due on April 30.

    In an 8-K filing that Getty Realty reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said an approval of the stipulation would help both parties, as well as independent Getty c-store owners.

    "[Getty Realty] believes that by entering into the stipulation, it will be able to avoid possible contentious and costly litigation; improve its ability to capture cash flow relating to the properties subject to the master lease; minimize disruption to the properties that could occur from cessation of gas sales by the operators thereof; and permit the company to take greater control of the process for orderly recapture and re-letting or other re-disposition of its properties," Getty Realty wrote in the SEC filing.

    This matter is certain to be discussed in more detail during Getty Realty's 2011 fiscal fourth-quarter conference call, set to take place March 16 at 9 a.m. EST.

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