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    Circle K to Sell 23 Southeast Stores

    Properties expected to generate around $7.4 million.

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- Circle K is attempting to sell about two dozen of its stores in the Southeast, with more than half of the sites in Louisiana, reported Baton Rouge, La.-based The Advocate.

    The properties are expected to generate approximately $7.4 million for Circle K, owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard, based in Laval, Quebec, Canada. "We do have a few sites for sale in Louisiana," Circle K real estate director Butch Seber said, adding that the stores do not meet the business strategy of Circle K and aren't generating enough sales. There is no deadline for selling the stores, and they will be sold during the normal course of business, Serber said.

    A document obtained by The Advocate from Circle K's Real Estate Department labeled "Surplus/Excess Properties, April 2004" lists 23 stores, their addresses, merchandise and gasoline sales, square footage, lease expiration dates and price.

    Fifteen of the stores are in Louisiana, six in Florida, one in Alabama and one in Mississippi. The document also lists one site in Ridge Manor, Fla., that is restricted against convenience stores.

    Alimentation Couche-Tard purchased Circle K from ConocoPhillips for $803.8 million in late 2003. Circle K operates 1,663 corporate stores in 16 states, mostly in the South. The company also has franchising or licensing agreements with 627 other stores.

    In March, Circle K's parent company sold 112 of the stores to Realty Income of Escondido, Calif., for $100.5 million. The stores were then leased back to Circle K. The Realty Income deal was part of sale-leaseback arrangements Alimentation Couche-Tard made covering 320 stores and raising $250 million, according to the news source. Alimentation Couche-Tard officials have said the proceeds from the sale-leasebacks will be used to reduce the company's long-term debt.

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