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    Sunoco Acquires Coastal Stores

    Deal marks the third pickup in less than 19 months.

    PHILADELPHIA -- Sunoco Inc., operator of more than 500 Aplus stores along the East Coast, has entered into a definitive agreement with financially ailing El Paso Energy Corp. to assume supply contracts with 75 Coastal distributors representing 460 locations in the Eastern United States and on the Gulf Coast.

    The bulk of the locations are in Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.

    The deal is the third between Sunoco and El Paso. Last year, Sunoco acquired 65 Coastal Mart direct retail sites and took over 24 supply contracts with 24 Coastal jobbers serving 163 sites. In December 2000, Sunoco purchased roughly 100 owned or leased Coastal sites and supply rights to 150 dealers.

    "We are pleased to announce this transaction for these remaining Coastal locations as part of our ongoing strategy to expand the company's retail site and supply network," said Sunoco Chairman and CEO John G. Drosdick.

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