June 16, 2008 / 1:39 AM / 10 years ago

Imperial says no plans to sell off Esso stations

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd said on Thursday it has no plans to sell off the 700 Esso-branded gasoline stations it owns in Canada, even though its majority owner Exxon Mobil Corp expects to divest its company-owned retail network in the United States.

Imperial, Canada’s No.2 oil production and refining firm, owns the 700 of about 1,900 Esso stations in the country but does not directly operate the sites.

The company doesn’t expect to follow Exxon, which said on Thursday it planned to get out of the retail gasoline business by selling the 2,200 stations -- including 820 directly operated -- it owns in the U.S. under the Exxon and Mobil banners. There are about 12,000 Exxon Mobil branded stations in the United States.

Exxon’s plan “has no implications for Canada,” said Robert Theberge, a spokesman for Imperial.

Imperial is 69.6 percent owned by Exxon Mobil.

Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson

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