Mergers & Acquisitions

Couche-Tard Resolves Competition Issues Over Wilsons Deal

Agrees with bureau to sell 47 locations

LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., in an agreement with the Competition Bureau in Canada, has agreed to sell 46 Wilsons convenience stores and fuel supply agreements and one Couche-Tard gas station to resolve competition concerns. In late July, Couche-Tard announced a binding agreement to acquire 79 company-owned locations from Cape D’Or Holdings Ltd., Barrington Terminals Ltd. and related holding entities operating under the Esso, Wilsons Gas Stops and Go! Store brands in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The deal also included 147 dealer locations, two of which are corporately owned, and a marine fuel terminal in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Cape D’Or has its headquarters.

The bureau concluded that the transaction would likely substantially lessen or prevent competition in the supply of retail gasoline in some markets within these provinces. To resolve the concerns, Couche-Tard will sell the sites and supply agreements to a buyer or buyers to be approved by the Commissioner of Competition. 

As part of the agreement with the bureau, Couche-Tard will sell retail gas sites in the following markets:

  • New Brunswick: Bouctouche, Cap Pele, Oak Bay-St-Stephen, Quispamsis, Sackville, Saint John, Saint-Antoine, Shediac, St-Ignace, Sussex, Utopia-Saint George-Pennfield, and Waasis.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Gander.
  • Nova Scotia: Barrington Passage, Bedford, Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Digby, Elmsdale-Enfield, Halifax, Lower Sackville, Lunenburg, Mt. Uniacke, Sydney, Truro, Upper Tantallon, West Amherst, and Westville.
  • Prince Edward Island: Stratford – Charlottetown and Summerside.

The commissioner is satisfied that this agreement addresses the competition issues likely to result from the proposed transaction, the Gatineau, Quebec-basedbureau said.

  • Alimentation Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s 2022 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 Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard’s worldwide total network to approximately 14,200 mostly Circle K-branded c-stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer motor fuel.

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