Alimentation Couche-Tard Secures Approval to Close Major European Expansion

The deal for TotalEnergies is expected to close next month.
Danielle Romano
Managing Editor
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Alimentation Couche-Tard Owl logo

LAVAL, Québec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is one step closer to growing its network in Europe. 

The convenience store and fuel retailer received a decision not to oppose from the European Commission for the acquisition of certain European retail assets from TotalEnergies SE, which was previously announced on March 16. Couche-Tard anticipates closing the deal in December.

"The decision by the European Commission is an important marker in the completion of this acquisition, and I want to thank all involved for their outstanding commitment in getting us to this stage," said Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Couche-Tard. "This game-changing transaction is on track to close by the end of December, and we are truly excited to welcome new team members and stores across these four European countries as we grow together to become the world's preferred destination for convenience and mobility."

[Read more: Alimentation Couche-Tard to Divest 25 Stores in Canada]

The previously announced deal comprises 100 percent of TotalEnergies' retail assets in Germany and the Netherlands, in addition to 60 percent controlling interest in the company's Belgium and Luxembourg entities.

The acquisition includes a total of 2,193 sites. Approximately 1,195 are located in Germany, 566 in Belgium, 387 in Netherlands and 45 in Luxembourg. The majority are company-owned (68 percent) with the balance being dealer-owned (32 percent), as Convenience Store News previously reported.

In June, Couche-Tard confirmed that TotalEnergies accepted its approximately €3.1 billion offer, or $3.3 billion. Following completion of the information and consultation process involving TotalEnergies employee representative bodies at European level in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the European company entered into definitive agreements to effect the transaction. It still needed the approval of relevant European regulatory authorities, which have now been granted.

The transaction will be financed using available cash, existing credit facilities, US Commercial Paper Program and a new term loan.

[Read more: Alimentation Couche-Tard Aims to 'Win' With Five-Year Strategic Plan]

Laval-based Couche-Tard operates in 25 countries and territories, with more than 14,400 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. It is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, and it is a leader in the c-store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of People's Republic of China. 

Alimentation Couche-Tard is known globally for its Couche-Tard and Circle K banners. It is No. 2 on the 2023 Convenience Store News Top 100 ranking.