Hannasch Officially Takes the Reins at Couche-Tard


LAVAL, Quebec — Brian Hannasch formally accepted the role of president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Wednesday during the company's annual shareholders meeting. He replaces founder Alain Bouchard, who will now serve as executive chairman of the board of directors.

An executive management team will share the responsibilities of chief operating officer as Hannasch leaves the position.

Hannasch joined Couche-Tard in 2001 when it acquired the Bigfoot convenience store chain. He became chief operating officer in 2009. In his new role, he will continue to press Couche-Tard's agenda of seeking out different sizes of acquisition opportunities, but the company will reportedly avoid reckless growth.

"Believe me, we were busy during the summer," Bouchard stated during a conference call earlier this month. "However, our discipline has served us well in the past, and we will stick to that. We don't feel that we need to overpay to continue creating significant value for our stakeholders."

Couche-Tard's stock increased sharply by 63 percent through Tuesday in anticipation of Hannasch's official appointment, according to a Bloomberg report.

During Wednesday's annual meeting, which took place at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Ontario, shareholders approved all candidates proposed for the board of directors, the retailer said. Nine other board members were elected in addition to Hannasch and Bouchard.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. operates 6,221 convenience stores throughout North America, including 4,724 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. The retailer also operates 2,263 European stores across Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltics and Russia.

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