Competition Bureau OK’s Couche-Tard deal

LAVAL, Que. — The Competition Bureau of Canada is giving the green light to Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX.ATD.B) to purchase its American fuel and convenience store rival CST Brands Inc., provided the company sell some of CST’s Canadian assets to Parkland.

In a statement Tuesday, the company based in Laval, Que., said the Competition Bureau gave them the clearance for the acquisition of CST Brands, and the transaction with Parkland Fuel Corp. (TSX: PKI).

Couche-Tard says the closings of both transactions are expected Wednesday.

The Competition Bureau says Couche-Tard’s proposed deal would lessen competition in numerous markets in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

But the government agency says to address the concern, Couche-Tard agreed to sell 366 gas stations and gasoline supply contracts to Parkland and one gas station to Philippe Gosselin & Associes Limitee.

The Competition Bureau says Parkland has also agreed to sell nine gasoline supply contracts to MacEwen Petroleum Inc. or McDougall Energy Inc. in Ontario.

On Monday, Couche-Tard won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to buy CST Brands on condition that it sell up to 71 stores in the U.S. The stores are located in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas.

Empire Petroleum will also have the opportunity to purchase an additional site owned by Couche-Tard. This transaction is expected to be finalized by the beginning of September.

Couche-Tard is the largest convenience store operator in Canada and has more than 8,000 convenience stores throughout North America, which are mostly branded as Circle K and Mac’s.

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