U.S. clears Couche-Tard to buy CST, with conditions

Washington | Reuters — Alimentation Couche-Tard has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival CST Brands on condition that it sell up to 71 stores in eight states, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

Alimentation Couche-Tard, a major Canada-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations, said in August that it would buy the smaller CST, which has the Corner Store markets, for some US$4.4 billion.

As of late January, Couche-Tard had 8,081 convenience stores in North America, including 6,710 which sold fuel, the company said in a news release.

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The FTC required the companies to sell 70 fuel stations with convenience stores to Empire Petroleum Partners in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas, the agency said.

Empire also has the option to buy a gas station in Albany, Georgia, the FTC said.

Alimentation Couche-Tard, which is still seeking antitrust clearance in Canada, said in a statement that it expected the deal to close on June 28.

In Canada, the deal would give Couche-Tard up to 870 more retail sites, mainly under the Corner Store and Depanneur du Coin brands, in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The CST stores offer standard convenience-store snacks and beverages and, in many cases, market sections with sandwiches, salads and fresh produce.

Some of CST’s Canadian retail sites and cardlock fueling stations, plus its commercial and home energy business, would go to Red Deer, Alta.-based Parkland Fuel Corp. in a C$965 million side deal with Couche-Tard.

The number of Canadian CST stores going to Parkland would be determined via the federal Competition Bureau’s review of the Couche-Tard/CST deal.

— Diane Bartz reports on antitrust issues for Reuters from Washington, D.C. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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