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    Couche-Tard to Acquire 83 Spirit Energy Stores

    The purchase would bring the company's Midwest Division store count to 424.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Through its subsidiary, Mac's Convenience Stores LLC, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. signed an agreement to acquire 83 convenience stores in the St. Louis and central Illinois areas from Spirit Energy LLC, the Canadian retailer stated.

    "Strategically, this acquisition is a complement to our expansion and growth plans for the Midwest Division," Darrell Davis, vice president of operations for the Circle K Midwest Division, said in a statement. "In addition to being an excellent fit within our current network it is also an entry into a new market area and would allow us to more easily target growth in the St. Louis market."

    As reported in a CSNews Online newsflash late yesterday, all of the stores are company-operated, 69 of which operate under the Convenient Food Mart banner, Couche-Tard stated. The remaining 14 locations currently operate as dealers. As part of the transaction, Couche-Tard would buy the land and buildings for 15 of the locations and would assume or enter into leases for the remainder, according to the company.

    The stores would be operated by the Circle K Midwest Division under the Circle K banner, while the existing Shell fuel brand would remain in place, according to the company. Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard's Midwest Division network would total 424 company-operated stores, Davis said in a statement.

    "These stores are located on highly visible and well-traveled roads and occupy strategic locations within their respective trade areas." He added: "These sites are well operated and have a strong management team in place."

    Should the transaction close as anticipated in July 2008, Couche-Tard estimated the assets from the acquisition would add revenues of approximately $430 million to its revenues on an annualized basis.

    The transaction is subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions, and the purchase price could not be disclosed, due to a confidentiality agreement between the companies.

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