Logos for Alimentation Couche-Tard and Speedway

Couche-Tard Reportedly Positioning to Acquire Speedway

LAVAL, Quebec — Talk of the Speedway LLC convenience store chain changing hands is heating up now that Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is reportedly getting ready to hang for sale signs on more than a thousand of its locations.

According to the New York Post, Couche-Tard began the process of selling 1,250 of its sites located near Speedway stores. The move would put Couche-Tard ahead of any competitive concerns that may be raised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Couche-Tard is the parent company of Circle K.

With the divestiture of those 1,250 c-stores, the company wants to raise roughly $4 billion. Any sale would likely be contingent on an acquisition agreement with Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) for all 3,800 Speedway locations, the news outlet reported.

Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC is the retail arm of Findlay, Ohio-based MPC.

Couche-Tard emerged as a possible buyer of Speedway in mid-June, three months after reported deal talks between MPC and Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., parent company to 7-Eleven Inc., fell silent in early March, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

For its part, MPC said last month that it was moving toward its original plan to spin off Speedway, a decision it announced in October. The completion date, though, has been pushed back from the end of 2020 to early 2021.

News of Couche-Tard's interest to sell some assets comes as Couche-Tard and CrossAmerica Partners LP, its former affiliate, agreed to pay a $3.5-million civil penalty to the FTC to settle allegations that they violated an order requiring the divestitures of 10 retail fuel stations in Minnesota and Wisconsin related to the previous acquisition of Holiday Cos.

Under a February 2018 pact, the companies had until June 15, 2018 to sell the assets to FTC-approved buyers — a deadline they missed.

Laval-based Couche-Tard has more than 16,000 sites across 26 countries and regions. Its global brand is Circle K.