"We can't keep doing what we've always done and just keep tweaking to make it better. Sometimes, you've just got to change."
Sonja Hubbard, E-Z Mart, page 40
As of the third quarter of 2010, 28 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now have smartphones â cell phones with operating systems resembling computers.
Source: The Nielsen Co.
Midwestern c-store chain likely to remain independent
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is not expected to rekindle its interest in Casey's General Stores now that the Iowa-based convenience store chain has broken off talks with Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc., analysts who have been following the saga told The Canadian Press.
Amid weeks of negotiations, 7-Eleven increased its cash offer by $3 per share to $43. That's compared to $38.50 per share that had been offered by Couche-Tard.
Couche-Tard, Canada's largest convenience store chain, threw in the towel Sept. 30, following a bruising six-month battle to acquire Casey's for $2 billion, the report noted.
Ben Brownlow, a Casey's analyst with Morgan, Keegan and Co., told The Canadian Press he wasn't surprised by Casey's rejection and doesn't believe Quebec-based Couche-Tard will stray from its disciplined acquisition strategy to top 7-Eleven's failed bid.
"The (Casey's) board and a majority of shareholders believe that the shares are worth north of $43, and I wouldn't expect Couche-Tard to pay that high a price," Brownlow said.
In fact, he said he believes the cost of 7-Eleven's offer was $45 per share when considering the $100 million in penalties associated with Casey's recapitalization. That's about the 12-month share price target of analysts, according to the report.
Irene Nattel, an analyst with Desjardins Securities, said Casey's rejection of $43 sends a clear message to other potential bidders that the board is unlikely to support any price below mid-$40s.
She had previously speculated that Couche-Tard could eventually mount a new challenge for Casey's once 7-Eleven walked away. Nattel said Casey's remains the "blue chip" among convenience store operators with robust gas and foodservice margins despite a sluggish economy.