LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has entered into a binding agreement to acquire an independent convenience-store and fuel network with 79 company-owned and -operated convenience retail and fuel locations under the Esso, Wilsons Gas Stops and Go! Store brands.
The Wilsons network operates in the Atlantic Canada provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The deal, with Cape D’Or Holdings Ltd., Barrington Terminals Ltd. and related holding entities, also includes 147 dealer locations, two of which are corporately owned, and a marine fuel terminal in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the company has its headquarters.
To acquire the Wilsons network, Couche-Tard said it intends to divest some assets, to be purchased by a third-party acquisition partner to be determined following a review of the proposed transaction by the Canadian Competition Bureau.
The companies expect the transaction to close in the first half of calendar-year 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including under the Competition Act. The transaction will be financed using the corporation’s available cash and existing credit facilities.
“The transaction is a great fit for Couche-Tard and will allow us to continue to build on our geographic expansion strategy through the addition of complementary sites while bringing added value to our team members and customers in Atlantic Canada. We are committed to purchasing strong sites with capabilities both inside the stores and on the forecourts to further our organic growth platforms and showcase Couche-Tard’s industry leading commitment to innovation and customer service, and we clearly see that potential in the Go! Stores and Wilsons’ assets and its dedicated employees,” said Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Couche-Tard, based in Laval, Quebec.
- Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2021 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count.
Couche-Tard’s 26-country global network includes approximately 9,300 c-stores in North America, with more than 7,100 in the United States, primarily under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners, and approximately 2,100 in Canada under the Circle K, Mac’s and Couche-Tard banners. In Europe, under the Circle K and other banners, Couche-Tard operates a retail network in Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia including more than 2,700 stores and unmanned automated fuel stations. And under licensing agreements, more than 2,200 stores operate under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories (Cambodia, Egypt, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Macau, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam). This brings Couche-Tard’s worldwide total network to approximately 14,200 mostly Circle K-branded c-stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer motor fuel.