Caisse to buy stake in Quebec convenience store chain

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is purchasing 11,369,599 Class A shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. from Metro Inc.

Couche-Tard owns and operates nearly 9,500 convenience store locations across North America, the large majority of which are also petrol stations. Its total network of more than 15,000 locations range across Europe, Asia and parts of Africa.

“Couche-Tard has an impressive track record, as shown by its ability to successfully make acquisitions in global markets and innovate to adapt to consumer needs,” said Christian Dubé, executive vice-president for Quebec at the Caisse.“Today, it is one of the largest convenience store retailers in the world, and it continues to have significant growth potential in the United States, Europe and Asia.”

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Metro is also converting another 11,369,599 Class A shares of Couche-Tard to subordinate shares, which it will sell through a syndicate of brokers.

And Couche-Tard is buying back 4,372,923 Class B subordinate voting shares from Metro for cancellation after converting the same number of Class A multiple voting shares, adding up to a total repurchase price of about $250 million. The repurchase price was set at $57.17 per share.

Of the 32 million shares held previously by Metro, the transactions represent a divestment of 85 per cent of the company’s holdings in Couche-Tard. When completed, Metro will still retain 5,114,923 shares.

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