Circle K Southwest Division Acquires Tiger Tote Stores, Dealer Sites

LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. continues to remain quite active on the acquisition front.

On the same day the Laval-based convenience store retailer closed its purchase of The Pantry Inc., the c-store operator Monday announced its Circle K U.S. division purchased 21 c-stores, 151 dealer fuel supply agreements and five development properties from Cinco J Inc. (d.b.a. Johnson Oil Co.), Tiger Tote Food Stores and their affiliates.

The 21 c-stores and five development properties are located in the state of Texas. The stores operate under The Tote and Tiger Tote brand names, and offer Exxon- and Chevron-branded motor fuels. The Tote stores also offer proprietary foodservice under the Mama's Kitchen brand name.

The transaction is expected to close by July 19 and is subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions, according to Couche-Tard. Once the acquisition is completed, all 21 stores will be rebranded Circle K and operated by Circle K's Southwest Division.

The 151 dealer fuel supply agreements are in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

"Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard's network in the Circle K Southwest Division would include a total of 335 company-operated stores and 67 locations under wholesale or franchise agreement. These stores occupy strategic locations within their respective trade areas. This acquisition would be a great addition to Couche-Tard's expansion and growth plans for the Southwest Division," stated Kelly McGuire, vice president of operations for the division.

Johnson Oil stressed that the sale will not impact its lubricants and commercial fuels distribution business, which will "continue to provide quality service and products in addition to its Exxon-branded lubricants business." 

The company also pointed out that Circle K will offer continuing positions to all eligible retail-level employees.

"The Johnson family is pleased that our stores and employees will be in good hands with Circle K, and we think they have a bright future ahead of them," said Roy Cole, president of Johnson Oil. "For our dealer business, we expect Circle K to build on the great relationships we’ve developed over our company’s long and successful history.”

Couche-Tard will use available cash to pay for the transaction. Both parties signed a confidentiality agreement whereby the purchase price will not be revealed.

Johnson Oil retained Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Corner Capital Advisors LLC to provide strategic advisory services for its convenience retail and fuel distribution business segments.

Gonzalez, Texas-based Johnson Oil was founded in 1958. In 1985, the company opened its first Tiger Tote convenience store in Luling, Texas.

When factoring in The Pantry deal, Couche-Tard's network now comprises more than 7,800 convenience stores in North America.

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