Couche-Tard lifts conditions on Statoil Fuel offer, won't require 90% acceptance

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MONTREAL - Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) is ready to complete a friendly takeover of Statoil Fuel & Retail — even if some of the Scandinavian company's minority shareholders are cool to the $2.7-billion deal.

The Montreal-area company that owns the Mac's and Couche-Tard chains in Canada and Circle K gas bars in the United States says it has waived a requirement that it get at least 90 per cent of Statoil Fuel's stock.

From the outset, Statoil ASA had agreed to tender its 54 per cent interest in the gas bar and convenience store operator — so Couche-Tard's focus has been on getting minority shareholders to sell their stock.

The offer was more than 52 per cent higher than Statoil Fuel's stock price when the deal was announced on April 18 but hasn't been high enough to entice all of the target company's minority shareholders.

Couche-Tard didn't say in Tuesday's announcement how many shares it has now received but it has previously said that more than two-thirds had been tendered.

Its deadline for Statoil Fuel's remaining shareholders has been extended by 12 days until June 20 but Couche-Tard says its offer is final.

Organizations: Alimentation Couche-Tard, Statoil Fuel Retail, TSX Mac Circle K Statoil ASA

Geographic location: MONTREAL, Canada, United States

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