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    Couche-Tard Purchase of Statoil Could Close by June 20

    C-store chain has already received Danish government approval and now awaits similar approvals from Russia, Poland and a shareholder vote.

    LAVAL, Quebec -- Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.'s purchase of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA could close by June 20.

    The combined company, to be called Couche-Tard Norway ASA in Europe, announced today that the deal was approved by Danish government authorities on Wednesday. In addition, competition authorities in Russia and Poland confirmed that they will render decisions regarding the acquisition at the latest by May 24 and June 20, respectively. In a news release, Couche-Tard, operator of Circle K stores in the United States, said it could receive clearance from Poland prior to June 20.

    Couche-Tard needs its proposed Statoil acquisition to be cleared by those government authorities because it will be operating convenience stores in all three countries.

    The convenience store chain offered $2.679 billion to acquire Norwegian-based Statoil. In addition to government clearances, 90 percent of Statoil voters need to approve the transaction for the deal to go through. The voting period for Statoil shareholders ends on May 21.

    As CSNews Online reported earlier this week, an independent review commissioned by the Oslo, Norway, stock market determined that Couche-Tard's offered price for Statoil was fair.

    Couche-Tard currently operates 5,817 convenience stores in North America, including 4,225 that also sell motor fuel.

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