Circle K Picks Up More Florida Sites

Couche-Tard strengthens Orlando market share with 29-store acquisition

LAVAL, Quebec -- Florida continues to be a magnet for industry activity as Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. said that it has signed, through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Circle K Stores Inc., an agreement to acquire 29 convenience stores in Orlando, Fla., from Florida Oil Holdings LLC.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa Inc., Dallas-based 7-Eleven and Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons Inc. have all recently opened or announced plans to open stores in the Sunshine State (see Related Content below for CSP Daily News coverage, and click here for Wawa details).

All of the stores that Couche-Tard has acquired from Florida Oil Holdings are company-operated and offer motor fuel, all under the BP brand; 13 of the sites are equipped with car washes. The sites would be operated by Couche-Tard's Florida Division under the Circle K brand. Pursuant to this transaction, the corporation would buy the land and buildings for 23 locations and the remaining six locations are long-term leased sites.

"This is a great opportunity for the Florida Division to strengthen our market share in the Orlando market. The assets are very high quality and are great locations. I am very confident the assets and team will make an immediate positive contribution to the corporation. This transaction would bring the company-operated store count for the division to 406," said David Morgan, vice president of operations for Florida.

The company's Florida Division already includes approximately 400 Circle K stores.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Arizona, Georgia & Florida Oil Holdings LLC is a distributor of fuel products as well as a owner and operator of more than two dozen gas stations and c-stores in the Phoenix, Ariz., Atlanta and Orlando markets.

According to a report by The Orlando Sentinel, the company's owner and managing member, Russ Scaramella, purchased 32 Orlando BP ampm stations in April 2010 for more than $60 million.

Scaramella declined to comment to CSP Daily News about the deal until it is completed.

The companies anticipate that the transaction will close at the end of August. It is subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions. According to a confidentiality agreement between the parties the purchase price cannot be disclosed at this time. Internal available cash dollars and available credit facilities will fund the transaction.

In other company news, Couche-Tard Inc. has announced that it completed the closing of its previously announced public offering of 6,350,000 Class B subordinate voting shares of Couche-Tard and the concurrent closing of the overallotment option to purchase an additional 952,500

An aggregate amount of 7,302,500 subordinate voting shares were issued and sold to a syndicate of underwriters composed of National Bank Financial Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., UBS Securities Canada Inc., HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., Desjardins Securities Inc. and Barclays Capital Canada Inc. at a price of $47.25 per subordinate voting share, for net proceeds of approximately $330.4 million after deducting the Underwriters' fee and the estimated expenses of the offering.

The net proceeds of the sale of the subordinate voting shares will be used to pay down a portion of Couche-Tard's outstanding long-term debt. The subordinate voting shares have been offered in all provinces of Canada by way of a final short form prospectus dated Aug. 3, 2012.

As of April 29, 2012, Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard had a network of 5,803 convenience stores, 4,216 of which include motor fuel dispensing. It also had agreements for the supply of motor fuel to 350 sites operated by independent operators. Couche-Tard's network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States covering 42 states and the District of Columbia (under the Circle K banner), and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces (under the Mac's and Couche-Tard banners). Following its acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA, Couche-Tard also operates a retail network across Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltics and Russia with approximately 2,300 c-stores, gas stations and automated fuel stations.