In 2017, Alimentation Couche-Tard acquired CST Brands Inc., San Antonio, with 1,300 stores in the United States and Canada, for $4.43 billion. The acquisition strengthened Couche-Tard’s footprint in the Sun Belt and the East Coast.

With this deal, Couche-Tard for a while surpassed 7-Eleven as the company with the most c-stores in the United States and Canada—approximately 9,900 for Couche-Tard vs. approximately 8,600 for 7-Eleven.

“I have always thought that in our industry size matters, whether that be for purchasing, logistics, best practices or for becoming famous for our product categories,” said Alain Bouchard, founder and executive chairman of Couche-Tard, when the deal was announced.

For CST Brands, which San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. spun off in 2013, the deal came out of a strategic review instigated by investors dissatisfied with the company’s valuation, governance and strategy.

With the acquisition of CST, Couche-Tard also gained Allentown, Pa.-based master limited partnership (MLP) CrossAmerica Partners LP, which distributes motor fuel to more than 1,100 locations in the United States. Couche-Tard sold CrossAmerica to its founder, Joe Topper, in 2019.