Convenience Store News

MAR 2016

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22 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Growth T hirty-six years after opening its first retail store, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is poised to take over the convenience chan - nel one country at a time. Along its storied timeline, 2015 may go down as one of its busiest years. In March 2015, the Laval, Quebec-based retailer closed on its acquisition of The Pantry Inc. The deal included approximately 1,500 c-stores that the Cary, N.C.-based parent of Kangaroo Express owned throughout the Southeast. This one move pro - pelled Couche-Tard to the No. 1 spot on this year's Convenience Store News Top 20 Growth Chains list. However, that was not the only major deal the company inked during the eventful 12 months of the past year. Also last March, Couche-Tard built up its international presence with the acquisition of Shell's marketing operations in Denmark. This agreement with A/S Dansk Shell comprised 315 sites, including 225 full-service stations, 75 automated fuel stations and 15 truck stops. Of the 315 sites, 140 were owned by Shell, 115 were leased from third parties, and 60 were dealer-owned. As the year wound down, Couche-Tard made headlines once again with news it was acquiring the majority share capital of both Topaz Energy Group Ltd. and Resource Property Investment Fund plc, together with the entire share capital of Esso Ireland Ltd. Topaz is the leading convenience and fuel retailer in Ireland, made up of 464 stations across the coun- try, including its recently acquired Esso station net- work. Of these stations, 162 were owned by Topaz and 302 were owned by dealers. This deal officially closed early this year. And all this growth has come as the company notched another year of record financial results, a testament to the employees, according to Brian Hannasch, president and CEO. "Our people achieved a lot this year," he told Convenience Store News. "They continue to focus on executing. Despite us doing acquisitions, integrations and rebranding, the focus on executing with the cus- By Melissa Kress Cover Story

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