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    Couche-Tard Acquisition of Statoil Clears Major Regulatory Hurdle

    The convenience store chain has received acceptance for more than 90 percent of Statoil shares.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has cleared perhaps its most significant hurdle in its acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA.

    Today at 5:30 p.m. Central European Summer Time was the deadline for Statoil shareholders to voluntary accept the acquisition by Couche-Tard, parent of Circle K stores in the United States.

    Enough Statoil shareholders approved of the deal that Couche-Tard announced today it has surpassed the 90-percent approval rate required for the acquisition per the Norwegian Securities and Trading Act.

    Statoil, a Scandinavian and Eastern European c-store chain, is based in Norway and trades on the Oslo stock exchange.

    In more exact terms, 272.77 million shares were sent to Couche-Tard to represent an acceptance of the voluntarily offer, the company reported. That represents 90.92 percent of issued and outstanding Statoil shares. That's a significant increase compared to yesterday, when Couche-Tard became the principal owner of Statoil after having received 243.59 million share tenders, which equaled 81.2 percent of Statoil's issued and outstanding shares.

    According to Couche-Tard, all shareholders tendering their shares in the voluntary offer between June 13 and 20 should receive a cash payout on June 26.

    Couche-Tard offered to pay $2.679 billion for Statoil. Broken down, Couche-Tard will pay 51.20 Norwegian kroner per share of Statoil, as well as 1.80 kroner that were already paid in a special dividend last month.

    Couche-Tard operates 5,817 convenience stores.

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