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    Ricker Oil Acquires 32 BP Stores and Three Prime Land Parcels

    Company president calls ampm sites a "perfect fit."

    ANDERSON, Ind. -- Ricker Oil Co. Inc. reacahed agreements to purchase 32 of BP's company-operated and -supplied stores in the greater Indianapolis area.

    The 32 stores and three prime parcels of land acquired by Ricker yesterday are a "perfect fit" for the BP jobber, said Jay Ricker, president of Indiana-based company in an interview with CSNews Online just hours after the deal was announced.

    The purchase agreement comes nearly two months after CSNews Online first reported that Ricker had an interest in the ampm franchise. Interviewed at BP's Discovery Day Midwest, held in Indianapolis in early July, Ricker declined to comment on whether he was considering owning an ampm franchise. However, he added at the time that he'd "probably have an interest in it. They have a good model. It's been successful in the West, and I think that can be replicated in the East. I have seen the program in operation -- it's very successful."

    Twenty of the acquired sites are large 4,000-square-foot buildings "on some of the best corners in the market," said Ricker yesterday, adding he began looking at as early as May. He noted Indianapolis is a strong BP market and the worldwide launching pad for the oil company's BP Connect stores.

    Ricker Oil also operates 29 stores and supplies another 35 dealer locations, all of which are located in Indiana. With this transaction, Ricker Oil becomes one of the largest Indiana-based petroleum retailer/suppliers. The company plans to operate or supply these sites -- the majority of which will remain ampm branded -- by the end of October, Ricker Oil said.

    A major consideration to Ricker was that the acquired sites are all within or contiguous to Ricker's current geographic market reach. "We don't have to add on any new infrastructure," he told CSNews Online.

    "We're excited to be a significant retailer in the Indianapolis metropolitan area," Ricker added. "And [we] look forward to serving our loyal customers. The current employees have contributed greatly to BP's success, and we look forward to their continued employment."

    Ricker also noted that store sales in the Indianapolis market have remained remarkably strong. "Inside store sales are up. Gas volume varies by month but is a little down, but Indiana isn't doing as bad as other states economically," despite the recent meltdown on Wall Street.

    In the near future, the company plans to further expand the ampm franchise but no new deals are on the immediate horizon.

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