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Pacific Convenience & Fuels Eyes Further Growth

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Pacific Convenience & Fuels LLC (PC&F) -- a fledgling company that within the last year, has become a major player in the convenience store industry -- says it is not done growing, and in fact, the chain is aggressively working on two "major" acquisitions.

A year ago, PC&F acquired ConocoPhillips' remaining U.S. retail marketing assets, which consisted of nearly 600 company-owned c-store and gas station locations. The purchase was the largest of its kind from an oil company to a private company of PC&F's size in the retail segment, according to Sam Hirbod, president and CEO of the San, Ramon, Calif.-based company.

Since taking over the stores Jan. 30, 2009, the retailer focused on transforming the former ConocoPhillips locations through aesthetic and product changes, and ensuring the same high standards are applied throughout PC&F's entire retail network, which now consists of roughly 335 company-operated stores, 100 fee-operator sites and a handful of dealer locations in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

While this has kept the company's leaders busy, PC&F is still out in the industry looking for growth opportunities. "We are keeping our eyes and ears in the marketplace," Hirbod told CSNews Online. "We've never had a [final] number in mind. We like to prepare ourselves for any opportunity that comes. We've always been formula based, so we want a strong enough platform that can handle the opportunities out there."

In addition to the two major acquisitions the chain is pursuing, PC&F plans to build two to four ground-up locations per year on the 60 land banks it acquired as part of the ConocoPhillips deal. Plus, the company has another dozen locations that it will convert from service bays to full-scale convenience stores, according to Hirbod.

Even with these big plans, though, Pacific Convenience & Fuels hopes to stay under the radar. Hirbod said he and his team try hard to keep their focus solely on the business, and not get caught up in industry reputations.

"Sometimes reputations can make you bigger or smaller than you are. We have our own set of standards that we think are very high," Hirbod explained. "Making noise is not what we're about. We like to make noise by our actions."

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