Imperial Oil is selling its 20 New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Esso stations, some of which it has owned since the 1930s, CBC News has learned.

The buyer is Wilson Fuels of Halifax. Wilson also said it has signed an agreement to supply 60 stations owned by independent Esso dealers.

Dave Collins of Wilson Fuels said the company needs a bigger share of the market to compete.

"We said we have to grow, or radically change the way we do business and this opportunity came along and so we chose to grow," Collins said.

"Now we're of a big enough size, and we have much greater geographic diversity, so it really strengthens our ability to deal with new competitors. We're really excited about it."

Wilson is a minor player in New Brunswick and it doesn't have any stations in P.E.I.

The Esso stations involved in the deal will keep their Esso signs, will continue to take Esso credit cards, and participate in Esso reward programs.

The deal goes into effect in July.