Tesoro Tight-Lipped on Sale of Hawaii Locations

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- Tesoro Corp. officials will not disclose who may buy its 31 retail gas stations as the company begins to convert the state's largest refinery, located in Kapolei, into an import terminal.

According to Pacific Business News, a spokesman for Tesoro refused to comment, but it is rumored that an Asian entity may be a potential buyer. Another possible contender is Aloha Petroleum Ltd., which told PBN that the convenience store market in Hawaii is underserved, especially outside of Waikiki. Aloha currently operates 42 c-stores on Oahu, Maui, Kauia and the Big Island.

One year ago, Tesoro President and CEO Greg Goff announced that Hawaii was no longer part of the company's larger strategic focus.

“Following a comprehensive analysis, we’ve determined that our business in Hawaii does not align with our strategic focus on the Mid-Continent and West Coast, and can provide greater value for a company that will invest in the business and employees,” said Goff. “While the Hawaii business is no longer in line with our vision for Tesoro’s future, there is no question that it offers value for the right investor.”

Tesoro also faced increasing competition when Lawson's, Japan's No 2. c-store chain behind 7-Eleven, entered the U.S. market in July with two new stores in the Waikiki Hotel and the Moana Surfrider, the heart of Hawaii's main tourism district. Lawson’s plans to open 30 to 50 stores in Hawaii, as CSNews Online previously reported.

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