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Couche-Tard Buys 22 Shell Sites

LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has signed a deal with Shell Oil Products US to buy 22 sites in the Phoenix, Ariz., area for $33 million, reported the Canadian Press.

The Quebec-based c-store operator will buy the land and buildings to set up 20 company-operated Circle K stores, and lease the other two sites. Most of the sites are currently branded with Texaco fuel and will all be converted to the Shell fuel brand. Couche-Tard has also agreed to convert some of its own sites to the Shell brand.

"The sites are strategically located, offering a perfect fit with our existing marketing network," Couche-Tard vice president Geoff Haxel said.

The deal, expected to close by the end of November, will add sales of about $95 million to revenues and increase operating income.

In other Couche-Tard news, the company has completed franchise negotiations with Taco Del Mar, a Seattle-based quick-service restaurant chain. The deal allows Taco Del Mar to open co-branded locations with new Mac's Convenience Stores, of which Couche-Tard is the parent company, throughout British Columbia. Two co-branded locations are already under development in Richmond and Vancouver Island with future locations to be announced this year.

"Mac's is looking forward to a long and prosperous association with Taco Del Mar," said Nancy Brown, Mac's manager of food service development. "Both entities are committed to offering our consumers a great food experience that encourages frequency and loyalty."

Couche-Tard operates 4,881 convenience stores in North America, with 1,663 corporate stores and 350 franchise outlets in 16 American states.
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