The Pantry Focuses on Couche-Tard Transition

Company no longer issuing financial guidance

The Pantry Couche-Tard (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

CARY, N.C. -- Major southeastern U.S. convenience store chain The Pantry Inc. is about to become a subsidiary of leading North American c-store network Couche-Tard, which operates as Circle K in the United States, in a nearly $2-billion deal expected to close by the end of March 2015.

"Our team is focused on addressing transition matters under the merger agreement we reached in late December with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.," president and CEO Dennis G. Hatchell.

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard will acquire Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry in an all-cash transaction valued at $36.75 per share, with a total enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion including debt.

On Dec. 18, 2014, The Pantry entered into merger agreement with Couche-Tard U.S. Inc. and CT-US Acquisition Corp., with The Pantry surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of Couche-Tard.

On Jan. 12, 2015, The Pantry filed a preliminary proxy statement in connection with a special meeting of its stockholders to seek approval for the merger.

Due to the pending merger, The Pantry is no longer issuing financial guidance and is withdrawing the previous financial guidance for fiscal 2015. The Pantry did not host a first-quarter earnings conference call. (Click here to view CSP Daily News coverage of The Pantry's latest financials.)

As of Oct. 12, 2014, Couche-Tard's network comprised 6,303 convenience stores throughout North America, including 4,851 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North-American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States (under the Circle K brand) 40 states and four in Canada (under the Mac's and Couche-Tard brands) covering all 10 provinces.

As of Jan. 29, 2015, The Pantry, based in Cary, N.C., operated 1,509 stores in 13 states-- mostly in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, but also in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana and Missouri--under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

The stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, fuel, car care products and services, tobacco products, beer, soft drinks, self-service fast food and beverages, publications, dairy products, groceries, health and beauty aids, money orders and other products and services. It offers lottery in all states except Alabama and Mississippi. As of Dec. 25, 2014, it operated 233 quick-service restaurants (QSR) and 231 car washes. It sells self-service fuel at 1,502 locations, of which 1,031 sell fuel under major oil company brands including BP, CITGO, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Shell and Valero.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers