Couche-Tard Buys 13 C-stores in Pensacola, Fla. Market

LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc. here said that through its subsidiary, Circle K Stores, Inc., it has agreed to buy 13 stores in the Pensacola, Florida market from Pensacola, Fla.-based Richcor, Inc. Subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in February 2007. Due to a confidentiality agreement between the parties, the purchase price wasn't disclosed, Couche-Tard said that internal available cash dollars would fund the transaction.

The 13 company-operated locations currently employ the Groovin Noovin banner and sell have Shell-branded gasoline. Following the Couche-Tard acquisition, the stores will be converted to the Circle K banner and the gas brand will stay the same. Additionally, 10 of the stores have quick-service restaurants, of which nine feature a proprietary deli doing business as Down Home Deli and one as a branded Subway location operated under a franchise agreement. Couche-Tard will buy the land and buildings for all 13 sites.

Said Florida-Gulf Division v.p. operations Mick Parker in a statement: "Subsequent to this transaction, our network in the Florida and Gulf Division would include a total of 669 company-operated stores and 64 dealer locations. These stores are located on highly visible and well-traveled roads, and occupy strategic locations within their respective trade areas. Strategically, these acquisitions would be an excellent fit with our current network in Pensacola, Florida and would complement our expansion and growth plans in the Florida-Gulf region."

The third-largest convenience store operator and the second-largest independent (not integrated with a petroleum company) convenience store operator in the North America, Couche-Tard currently operates a network of 5,204 convenience stores, 3,235 of which include motor fuel dispensing, located in nine large geographic markets, including three in Canada and six covering 28 U.S. states.
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