Couche-Tard Acquires 10 Stores in the Midwest

LAVAL, CANADA -- Canadian c-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc. has signed agreements to purchase 10 stores located in the Midwest region of the United States. Should these transactions close as planned at the end of April 2005, the acquisitions would add sales of approximately +ACQ-20.5 million to Couche-Tard's revenues.

The first purchase agreement is for five convenience stores currently operated by Thornton Oil under the Thornton banner with Thornton motor fuel, four of which are located in central Ohio and one in Southern Indiana.

The second purchase agreement is for four stores located in central Illinois, currently owned and operated by Broadus Oil under the Pit Stop banner with CITGO motor fuel.

Finally, one independent store in Western Illinois selling fuel under the BP banner will be acquired.

Pursuant to these transactions, Couche-Tard said it would buy the land and buildings for eight locations, and would lease the other two.

"Strategically, these acquisitions would be excellent complements to our current network in the Midwest and would efficiently compliment the network expansion plans of the Midwest Division," said Michel Bernard, v.p. of operations for the Midwest Division, in a statement. "The pressure on fuel margin in the Midwest over the past few years has and will continue to create short-term opportunities for acquisition in our market. Consistent with our development strategy, we selected these 10 stores based on the following criteria: prime locations, potential for growth, and quality of people. Under our operation model and with the efficiency of our marketing programs, these 10 sites would contribute to improve profitability of the division. Subsequent to these transactions, our network in the Midwest Division would include a total of 493 stores."
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