The Mahalo gas station at the corner of East Manoa Road and Lowrey Avenue was pictured yesterday.

Feds aim to block sale
of Mahalo stations

Federal regulators want to hold up the proposed purchase of 18 Mahalo gas stations and convenience stores on Oahu by the company that owns and operates Aloha gas stations.

The buyer, Aloha Petroleum Ltd., plans to dispute the decision.

A spokeswoman for Aloha Petroleum said the firm will contest the Federal Trade Commission's plan to seek a temporary restraining order blocking the sale of the Mahalo locations to Aloha. Aloha said it was notified that the FTC plans to seek a restraining order today in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

An FTC spokesman declined to comment, and the Aloha spokeswoman said Aloha has not been told why the regulators oppose the deal.

Aloha owns and operates approximately 60 gas stations on Oahu and the Big Island. Mahalo, which is owned by Trustreet Properties Inc., operates 20 stations. Leases on two of the Mahalo stations are expected to expire soon and Mahalo will not continue to operate them.

Under the deal, Aloha would also acquire Trustreet's interest in a fuel import terminal in the Campbell Industrial Park in Kapolei, which is co-owned by the companies.

Bob Maynard, Aloha's president and chief executive, said the deal would enhance competition and help consumers.

"Aloha Petroleum will contest the decision because we believe Oahu motorists will benefit from the opportunity to purchase Aloha's competitively priced gasoline at a greater number of locations," he said. "This is exactly what our purchase of Mahalo would do."

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