Circle K in talks with Portuguese service station chain

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LISBON -- Petrogal is on the verge of agreeing to a major joint venture with U.S.-based Circle K Co. to create a chain of convenience stores at the oil company's gas stations, it is reported.

Plans involve installing 24-hour stores at 600 of Petrogal's 1,200 outlets, with the first 400 to be established within three years. The agreement would dwarf the recent deal between BP and Sonae, Portugal's largest retail group, for a chain of 50 Modelo Expreso convenience stores at BP service stations.

Before the announcement of the BP deal, Sonae had been tipped as the most likely partner for Petrogal. Meanwhile, Shell Oil Co. is also said to be planning to set up its own chain of convenience stores at outlets in Portugal and is thought to be in talks with the local subsidiary of Auchan.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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