Hannasch also offered an update on Couche-Tard’s pending acquisition of Holiday Stationstores Inc. He said the company expects the deal, subject to customary regulatory approvals and conditions, to close during third-quarter fiscal 2018.
On July 10, 2017, Couche-Tard entered into an agreement with Holiday Cos., Bloomington, Minn., to acquire Holiday Stationstores, which has 522 sites, 374 operated by Holiday and 148 operated by franchisees. It also has a car-wash business with 221 locations, a food commissary and a fuel terminal. Its c-stores are located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington State, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Alaska.
“As we become more familiar with the Holiday network, we’re learning about the talented management team and the dedicated employees and exceptional assets of that network,” said Hannasch. “Over the months ahead, we’ll continue evaluating the business and plan an integration process, which will begin immediately upon closing; however, it’s already clear numerous best-practice sharing and opportunities will result from this purchase.”
In terms of new acquisitions, Hannasch said, “We’re very pleased with our progress in deleveraging, but the goal remains to get back to a more normal range of a debt leverage ratio. That said, the appetite is still there to grow this company. That appetite will vary in the near term depending on the geography, the strategic fit and what we think are the underlying returns. … We’ve got a decentralized business, and we’ve also got decentralized shared services. So we have some areas of our company that are very heavily impacted by CST and some that are not. So we would be more open to areas of the country, both in Canada and that U.S., that have not been impacted by CST.”
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard's network includes 9,465 c-stores throughout North America, including 8,135 stores offering fuel. Through Allentown. Pa.-based CrossAmerica Partners LP, Couche-Tard supplies fuel to more than 1,200 locations in the United States. In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a retail network of about 2,750 c-stores and unattended fuel sites across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia.