Couche-Tard's Circle K to Lasso 16 New Mexico Stores

LAVAL, Que. -- Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc., based here, said yesterday that through its subsidiary, Circle K Stores, Inc., it has signed an agreement with Conway Oil Co. and Conway Real Estate Co. to buy 16 convenience stores in New Mexico. If this transaction closes as scheduled in December, the acquisitions would add sales of about US $66 million to Couche-Tard's revenues and contribute to its earnings on an annualized basis.

The 16 purchased stores operate under the Winners banner, with either Shell or Chevron motor fuel, and most are in or near Alburquerque, N.M. Ten of the stores include car washes. Under the agreement, Couche-Tard is buying the land and buildings for 10 of the locations, while leasing the remaining six. Although a confidentiality agreement between the parties meant that the purchase price couldn't be revealed now, Couche-Tard did disclose that it would be paid using internal cash flow.

"We are pleased with this opportunity, which allows us to complement the network expansion plans in the West Coast Division," said Brian Hannasch, Couche-Tard s.v.p., Western North America, in a statement. "Consistent with our development strategy, we selected these 16 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 16 sites would contribute to improve profitability of the division. Subsequent to this transaction, our network in the West Coast Division will include a total of 286 stores."

Alimentation Couche-Tard is the fourth-largest convenience store operator and the second-largest independent (not integrated with a petroleum company) convenience store operator in North America. The company currently operates 4,861 convenience stores, 3,016 of which include motor fuel dispensing, in eight large geographic markets, including three in Canada and five in the United States.
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