Irving Oil buys 8 Rice gas stations

Canada-based Irving Oil has purchased eight of 39 Neighbors convenience stores in Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, The Recorder in Greenfield, Mass., reported.

Irving spokesman Lars Trodson didn’t disclose the purchase price for the eight locations, saying Irving never discusses the amount decided between two private companies.

The stores, which are now owned and operated by Irving Oil, are located in Greenfield, Deerfield, Whately, Keene, N.H., and Brattleboro, Westminster, Dummerston and Ascutney, in Vermont, the newspaper reported.

”Irving has the same values, the same commitment to serving local customers that we have always had, and so, we are very pleased to have Irving be the new owner of these sites,” said Timothy Rice, Rice Oil’s owner and president, in a written statement. ”It has been a pleasure to work with them throughout this process and I know that the customers Rice Oil has come to know and appreciate over the years are in the best of hands.”

Paul DeCarlo, director of Rice’s retail operations, said last week that two buyers, Irving Oil and another he would not name, were interested in Rice’s convenience stores, except the one in Northfield because there is no resolution to an expansion appeal at that store and the business was not as profitable. For now, the Northfield store will remain in the Rice family’s hands, The Recorder reported.

Irving Oil owns more than 700 retail stores, with its U.S. operations located in Portsmouth, N.H.

”We are very proud to have the opportunity to introduce quality Irving products at these sites and we want to publicly thank the Rice family for this excellent opportunity,” said Harry Hadiaris, director of business to consumer operations for Irving Oil, in a written statement. ”These locations have been owned and operated with integrity and Irving will continue that strong commitment to customer service and satisfaction.”

Trodson did not say whether Irving Oil is interested in buying any other locations, but said the company is ”always looking for ways to expand,” the newspaper reported.

It is unclear what will happen with Rice Oil’s ice business and 31 remaining convenience stores. In March, Timothy Rice said he expected to eventually sell all divisions of Rice Oil Co.

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