Couche-Tard, Irving Oil Expand Partnership

Irving Oil Limited and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. today announced the expansion of their existing partnership to include 252 Irving Oil convenience retail sites across Atlantic Canada and New England.

Couche-Tard and Irving Oil entered into a convenience retail partnership seven years ago in Quebec, though the newly expanded partnership will provide both companies with opportunities to serve more customers and grow in the southern New England states, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The transaction is anticipated to close in July and is subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Under the expanded partnership, 252 Irving Oil convenience stores located in Atlantic Canada and New England would be operated by Couche-Tard, the companies said.

Of the 252 stores, 128 are located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and Prince Edward Island. The other 124 stores are located in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Irving Oil would retain ownership of the properties and Couche-Tard would lease the properties at market value for the next 20 years, as well as buying the store equipment and inventories by using internal available cash dollars.

Irving Oil would continue to supply petroleum products to the sites. The fuel pumps and canopies at the sites would remain Irving-branded while the stores would be operated under a Couche-Tard brand.

The sites have annual average merchandise sales of approximately $1.2 million per company-operated site. The annual average petroleum volume at the U.S. sites is approximately 2 million gallons per site.

“Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard’s Eastern Canada Division would include a total of 693 company operated stores and the Great Lakes Division would include 432 company operated stores,” said Brian Hannasch, Couche-Tard’s senior vice president of U.S. operations. “We are very excited to expand our relationship with Irving. Our relationship over the last seven years has been very strong and has proven to be beneficial to both companies. This transaction also marks Couche-Tard’s entry into the Northeast U.S. and Atlantic Canada and the unique opportunity to do so with one of the most well recognized fuel brands and strongest retail networks in this geography.”

“Expanding our existing partnership with North American convenience retail industry leader Couche-Tard is an exciting opportunity for our company to create a greater platform for growth in the Northeast and to focus on our core business of providing clean fuels to our customers,” said Harry Hadiaris, director of business-to-consumer marketing at Irving Oil. “This growth opportunity is in line with our company’s focus, which has always been on processing and marketing fuels, along with providing various complementary products and services that have changed over time.”

In other news, Couche-Tard also announced that it signed a master franchise and license agreement for the exclusive development of the Circle K brand in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with GR Vietnam International Limited.

The company has 3,599 stores outside the U.S. and Canada.

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