BP to Sell U.S. Convenience Stores

New York City, BP Plc. said on Thursday it would sell all 700 of its U.S. owned-and-operated convenience stores to franchise owners, eliminating nearly 10,000 employees.

The planned sale, which will take about two years to complete, states that potential buyers will sign 20-year franchise agreements requiring them to sell BP or ARCO branded fuels.

The move is a continuation of BP's announcement in October to simplify its operations, a BP spokesman said. The sale will affect the jobs of 9,500 convenience store workers, 350 business-support staff and approximately 100 people within its pipelines and logistics operations.

Large distributors will also buy some of the retail outlets, the company said.