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C-store giant expands U.S. store footprint

BY Marianne Wilson

Alimentation Couche-Tard has closed on the biggest transaction in its history.

The Canadian company announced that it has completed its $4.4 billion acquisition of CST Brands. The deal will add approximately 1,300 stores to the Couche-Tard portfolio, including 666 locations in Texas.

"CST is the fourth-largest network of convenience stores and fuel retailing in North America," stated Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Couche-Tard. "This transaction…will strengthen our footprint in the United States, especially in Texas and the Southeast region, as well as in Canada (Québec, Atlantic provinces and Ontario), and bring our total store count in North America to close to 9,500 and close to 14,000 worldwide."

The majority of former CST stores in Texas will become part of Circle K Stores, a subsidiary of Couche-Tard, reported Convenience Store Decisions.

Couche-Tard is the largest independent convenience store operator in the United States in terms of number of company-operated stores. As of January 29, 2017, adjusted to include the acquisition of CST Brands, Couche-Tard's total network was comprised of some 9,500 convenience stores throughout North America, including 7,567 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North American network consists of 16 business units, including 12 in the United States covering 42 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces.

In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics states and Russia through ten business units, for a total of 2,766 stores. In addition, under licensing agreements, close to 1,700 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 13 other countries and territories worldwide, bringing the company's total network to close to 14,000 stores.

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