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    Couche-Tard Hops on Kangaroo Express Integration

    New owner lays off 250 employees of The Pantry.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    LAVAL, Quebec — Although Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. only completed its $1.7-billion acquisition of The Pantry Inc. on Monday, the Canada-based convenience store retailer is already integrating the newly acquired stores into its network, Couche-Tard President and CEO Brian Hannasch noted Tuesday during the company's 2015 fiscal third-quarter earnings call.

    "You know us. We are not wasting any time," Hannasch said regarding the integration progress.

    The acquisition of Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry — which includes more than 1,500 c-stores in 13 southeastern states primarily operating under the Kangaroo Express banner — will allow Circle K parent Couche-Tard to realize cost reductions of up to $85 million during the next 24 months, according to Hannasch.

    In addition, The Pantry will be "highly complementary to our existing network," the chief executive said, and will grow "in-store and fuel volumes in this geographic area through the combination of business awareness, sharing of each company's best practices and better supply conditions."

    The third quarter of fiscal 2015 was marked by the "great announcement of our agreement" to acquire The Pantry, said Hannasch. 

    "This transaction just closed yesterday and I'd like to take this opportunity to offer a warm welcome to the newest members of the Couche-Tard family," he remarked. "With this acquisition, we can only look to upcoming quarters with enthusiasm and we are very confident that our new network has impressive potential for contributing to the future growth of the corporation."

    The CEO added that its integration of the Kangaroo Express stores is going well thus far. "We have a very solid integration plan for The Pantry," he said.

    Couche-Tard did not reveal during the earnings call — nor was it asked by financial analysts — if the acquired Kangaroo Express stores will convert to the Circle K brand name in the future.


    As a result of the merger, Couche-Tard reportedly laid off 250 employees of The Pantry, effective Monday. 

    This information was revealed via a mandatory filing with the North Carolina State Commerce Department, the Triangle Business Journal reported. 

    In addition, each member of The Pantry's board of directors voluntarily resigned from their post, according to the news outlet.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News
    • About Brian Berk Brian Berk is managing editor of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, where he specializes in covering motor fuels, technology and financial news. He has served the magazine industry for 14 years and has also worked in the radio and newspaper fields. Berk holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

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