The acquisition cost wasn't available from either company ordetailed in SEC filings. The heaviest concentrations of stationsare Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Baton Rouge, LA and Phoenix. "Thistransaction offers great synergies with our existing retail networkand supply chain," Gary Arthur, president of Valero's retaildivision, says in a press release.

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A spokesman for the San Antonio-based Valero says "we alreadyhave about 950 company-owned stores in the Southwest and most arein the states where we're making the acquisition." The spokesmansays the Boise, ID-based Albertsons' stores will be company ownedlocations by Valero and not branded wholesale sites, which is afranchise-type agreement between Valero and a local group. Valerohas about 4,000 wholesale sites in its portfolio.

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The spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that re-branding will beginimmediately after the deal closes and should be completed in amatter of months. Some stores could be re-branded practicallyovernight. "Most of the stores are in operation," the spokesmansays. "They're fairly new sites and are in good shape so they won'tneed a whole lot of renovation. Just new signage and reconfiguringof interiors to set up for the mix of products we sell."

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The spokesman says the Albertsons offer was an opportunistic buyrather than a planned acquisition that had been in the pipeline along time. "This was a group of stores coming from one buyer andgoing to one seller," he says. "It made good sense for us."

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