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Kiel Closing 30 Tobacco Road stores

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- An attorney representing Columbus-based Kiel Bros. Oil Co. said the company has filed a motion to close 30 of its stores, reported the Johnson County (Ind.) Daily Journal.

The latest store closures are in addition to the 11 stores that the company shut down in June after filing for bankruptcy. Kiel Bros. has not identified which specific stores it plans to close. Company officials first have to identify the stores that make the least amount of profit, attorney Jay Jaffe said.

The company has 210 stores and 90 wholesale-fuel locations across central Indiana, southern Illinois and Kentucky. Most sell BP or Marathon gasoline. Closures in any of those areas are possible, Jaffe said.

The company filed for bankruptcy because of declining profits and a failed deal to sell the company to Bulk Petroleum Corp. of Wisconsin. During the bankruptcy period, Kiel's convenience stores, most with the Tobacco Road name, have operated as normal. The company employs 1,350 people.

Company officials want to borrow $23.8 million from National City Bank to fund daily salaries and operations during the bankruptcy period, Jaffe said.
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