NEW YORK CITY – Hess Corp. has moved forward with its decision announced last year to sell its U.S. convenience stores and gasoline stations, Bloomberg Business Week reports. The separation will be tax-free.
Hess will continue to look for a buyer of its stores that run from Florida to New Hampshire while it spins off the unit, which will likely happen in 2014, said spokesman Dennis Moynihan. Hess also said in 2013 that it would be shuttering or selling its refineries to concentrate on producing oil.
“I, for one, am in favor of a spin because it will keep the Hess brand name which has some value and the company won’t pay any taxes,” said analyst Fadel Gheit with Oppenheimer & Co. Gheit said the business could be worth $2 billion.
Hess branded convenience stores and gasoline stations include Wilco Travel Plaza, Hess and Hess Express, with a total of 1,258 outlets. The company also is the biggest Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee by number of outlets. Rumors of companies interested in buying the Hess retail stores include Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
The move to sell its retail locations is not new in the oil business. Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips jettisoned their gasoline stations when they split up refining from oil production.