Couche-Tard Statoil Buyout Offer Will See Quebec Retailer Go Global

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Alain Bouchard, chief executive of Alimentation Couche-Tard poses for a photo Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at the company's annual meeting in Laval, Quebec. Canada's largest convenience store chain has a US$2.8-billion friendly deal to buy the retail operations of Norway's state oil company, marking the Montreal-area company's first major move beyond its North American base. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz) | CP

LAVAL, Que. - Canada's largest convenience store chain has offered to purchase Scandinavian convenience and fuel retailer Statoil Fuel and Retail for $2.8 billion.

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX:ATD.A) hopes to buy the company's shares at a 53 per cent premium.

Statoil ASA, Norway's top oil company, will retain a 46 per cent stake in the company.

Statoil Fuel & Retail's board of directors has approved the transaction and recommends that shareholders accept the Offer.

Alimentation Couche-Tard is the largest independent convenience store operator in North America with 5,817 stores, including 4,225 which also sell fuel.

Statoil Fuel & Retail is the top Scandinavian convenience and fuel retailer with about 2,300 full-service or automated stations.

"Moving into Scandinavia and Europe is an important step in implementing Couche-Tard's growth strategy," said Couche-Tard president and CEO Alain Bouchard.

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