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HOUSTON -- As part of its two-year strategy to transition all its company-owned retail assets to wholesale-supplied locations, Shell Oil Co.'s Motiva Enterprises division has divested 51 of its Shell-branded retail locations in the New Orleans area to Lavigne Baker LLC, a joint-ownership project with Slidell Oil Co. and Lavigne Oil Co. Both are existing Shell wholesalers, according to Motiva.
"Today's announcement enables us to provide service to even more New Orleans-area customers, and to help revitalize the local economy," Brian Baker, managing member of Lavigne Baker, said in a statement yesterday. "Like Motiva, we are committed to assisting in the New Orleans area's economic recovery following Hurricane Katrina, and we look forward to serving the community for many years to come."
All 51 stations will continue to operate under the Shell brand, according to Motiva. Due to confidentiality agreements, the purchase price could not be disclosed. Together, Slidell Oil and Lavigne Oil operate 43 Shell-branded stations throughout Louisiana.
"Slidell Oil Co. and Lavigne Oil Co. are proven Shell operators with a history of supporting the New Orleans area and growing the Shell brand," Paul Stanifer, south region general manager for Motiva, said in a statement. "By drawing on its owners' combined management expertise, Lavigne Baker will help to strengthen and expand the Shell brand throughout southern Louisiana."
The divestment is part of Motiva's plan to sell company-owned retail locations to wholesale-supplied locations, in an effort to grow the Shell brand and improve the network’s long-term sustainability. The plan, which began in 2005, calls for the transition of Shell's remaining company-owned stations and retail supply contracts left in its network during the next two years, CSNews Online reported in October 2007.
Areas seeing transitions through 2009 include Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, Fairfield, Conn., Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Portland, Alaska, Sacramento, Hawaii, Washington D.C., southeast Florida, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and remaining sites in Los Angeles, CSNews Online reported in October.
In other Shell-related news, the company awarded $10,000 in free Shell gasoline to Cindy Sykora of Palos Heights, Ill. as part of a sweepstakes held at the Chicago Auto Show, which Shell sponsored, the company announced.
The award was part of an event where 15 finalists gathered at the Shell booth to select a Shell gas card, then insert it into a credit-card reader to find out if it was the winner, according to the company. The other finalists won a $100 Shell gasoline gift card
Sykora said in a statement that her children in college will be happy to share the prize.