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    Couche-Tard Bid for Statoil is Fair, Says Independent Firm

    The Arctic Securities report is expected to boost Couche-Tard's chances of acquiring the Norwegian-based c-store chain quickly.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s bid to acquire Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA is fair, according to an independent reviewer.

    As CSNews Online reported last month, Couche-Tard, the parent of Circle K and Mac's Convenience Stores, lowered its bid for the Norwegian-based convenience store chain to $2.679 billion from $2.8 billion.

    Subsequently, the Oslo Stock Market -- where Statoil's stock trades -- hired Arctic Securities, an independent research firm, to determine if Couche-Tard's offer price was fair.

    Arctic Securities looked at the purchase price in terms of the Norwegian krone. In those terms, Couche-Tard offered 51.2 kroner per share.

    According to the Canadian Press, Arctic Securities determined that Statoil is worth between 50 and 55 kroner per share, within Couche-Tard's range.

    Therefore, the review is believed to be strongly positive for Couche-Tard, who hopes to close the deal on May 21, the news outlet reported.

    Statoil's stock traded for 51.35 kroner at the end trading today in Oslo.

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