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Monday, May 30, 2022

M&A: Couche-Tard divesting more North American stores

Source: Oil Express
By Donna Harris

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has hired NRC Realty & Capital Advisors LLC to sell 109 Circle K and Couche-Tard retail sites in the United States and Canada, according to an NRC announcement Wednesday.

As previously reported, Couche-Tard executives hinted to analysts in July that the company could continue to streamline its retail chain even after it completed the 300-plus-store selloff it announced early last year. The corporation had said optimizing its network was “an ongoing process,” and though remaining acquisitive, Couche-Tard said it would place more emphasis on organic growth.

It is uncertain if some of the stores in the current announcement are unsold units from the earlier rounds of divestitures. NRC noted that it sold 260 sites for Couche-Tard last year.

The Wednesday announcement also follows reports that Couche- Tard could be negotiating to acquire assets from U.K.-based EG Group – which has a large retail presence in the U.S. – as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s plan to slow oil mergers it sees as anticompetitive.

EG America says on its website that it is the fifth-largest convenience store network in the U.S. by store numbers, with more than 1,800 units across 31 states. Although it lacks a presence in the two states with the greatest number of Circle K stores for sale, EG America has a significant presence in 10 other states affected by the divestiture, according to OPIS MarketSharePro.

The sale involves 31 sites across three Canadian provinces – Alberta, Ontario and Quebec – and 78 sites across 18 U.S. states, with an average store size of 2,209 square feet and an average lot size of roughly two-thirds of an acre. Of the total, 61 sell fuel and 48 only merchandise convenience items. About 60% of the sites are leased, and the rest fee-owned.

Of the 78 U.S. sites, 40 are fee-owned and 38 are leased, a separate announcement said. The fuel sites are being sold without brand and fuel supply. The largest clusters of stores are in Arizona (14) and Texas (13), followed by Ohio (7), Georgia (6), Missouri (6), Minnesota (5), Montana (4), North Carolina (4) and Indiana (3). There are two stores available in each of seven states – Alaska, California, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, South Carolina and Washington – and one store each in Colorado and Wisconsin.

The bid deadline for the latest sale is July 7, NRC said, adding that the stores could be sold separately or in packages.

To see a list of convenience stores and gas stations for sale, click here.