Finnish retailer St1 buys 198 Statoil stations

OSLO, April 1 Wed Apr 1, 2009 4:13pm BST

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OSLO, April 1 (Reuters) - Finnish fuel retailer St1 Oy said on Wednesday that it had agreed to buy 198 unmanned filling stations in Sweden and Norway from Norwegian oil and gas producer StatoilHydro (STL.OL).

The deal, whose value was not revealed, envisages St1 purchasing 158 fuel distribution stations in Sweden, including 118 Hydro/Uno-X brand stations and 40 Jet-brand stations, as well as a further 40 Jet stations in Norway.

"The fuel distribution stations acquired in the Oslo region mark an important bridgehead for St1 on the Norwegian fuel market," St1 said in a statement. "The company is exploring potential for expansion in Norway."

St1 said the stations were well suited for its "practice of cost-efficient remote operations" and would up its fuels market share to 8 percent in Sweden and just under 5 percent in Norway.

"Also, the net sales of the St1 Group will increase to about 1.5 billion euros ($1.98 billion)," it said.

($1=.7567 Euro)

(Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa and Joergen Frich)

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