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    Sinclair Oil to Sell C-stores

    Company plans to sell stores to local distributors and keep the Sinclair name.

    By Mehgan Belanger

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Refiner, marketer and c-store operator Sinclair Oil will sell its approximately 90 company-owned convenience stores, CSNews Online has learned.

    Sinclair made the announcement to employees Friday afternoon. However, phone calls and e-mails to a Sinclair representative to comment were unreturned by press time.

    A Sinclair employee who wished to remain anonymous told CSNews Online the company is looking to make cuts in its operations and raise cash due to the recession.

    The convenience store chain is only "a small part of the business," the employee said, adding executives looked at the company and evaluated what could raise cash without affecting the overall company. "These stores were acquired over the years, and it would make more sense to sell these and raise money," the employee told CSNews Online.

    Sinclair Oil owns and operates three refineries, two in Wyoming and one in Oklahoma, according to its Web site. Sinclair also markets fuel in 21 states and supplies fuel to more than 2,600 company- and distributor-operated stations.

    While more information on the sale was not available, CSNews Online was told the stores are not yet sold, and the company plans to sell the stores to local distributors that already carry the Sinclair brand and have Sinclair stations. The Sinclair name will remain on the locations, according to the employee.

    Store employees may work for the buyer of the location, while the 20 to 30 support staff who work at Sinclair's corporate office would be moved to other positions within Sinclair's operations, the employee said.

    In addition, Sinclair Oil may sell its Tulsa refinery, the employee said.

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    By Mehgan Belanger
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