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    Couche-Tard Acquires 24 Sparky's Stores

    Florida stores will fly the Circle K banner.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Through its Circle K subsidiary, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has signed an agreement with Sparky's Oil Co. to purchase 24 stores located in West Central Fla.

    This purchase brings the Circle K presence in the Florida and Gulf region to 570 stores, according to Mick Parker, vice president of operations in the Florida-Gulf division for Circle K. "These stores are located on highly visible and well traveled roads and occupy strategic locations within their respective trade area," he stated in a written release.

    Sparky's total sales for 2005 totaled $83.9 million, and the company-operated stores fly the Sparky's banner with all but one offering Shell-branded fuels. That lone store provides unbranded fuels. Seven locations have a drive-through car wash on premise, and 17 of the stores have quick serve restaurants -- 15 host a Subway franchise, one is home to a Hungry Howies Pizza franchise and one operates a proprietary deli.

    Couche-Tard is expected to buy the property of four locations and lease the remaining 20. The transaction is expected to close in October and will add to Couche-Tard's revenues and earnings on an annual basis. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the company will finance the transaction through internal available cash. The agreement is subject to regulatory rules and closing conditions.

    Couche-Tard boasts a network of more than 5,000 convenience stores, of which 3,168 provide motor fuels in Canada and the United States. Its Circle K stores are located in 23 states in the U.S. Couche-Tard employees more than 37,000 people through its convenience operations and executive offices.

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