LAVAL, Quebec -- Although Marathon Petroleum Corp.'s Speedway LLC division won the rights to purchase Hess Corp.'s 1,256-store network, there was another potential bidder in the mix.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. heavily considered pursuing Hess' retail network, which would have added a strong Northeast and Southeast foothold to its U.S. Circle K division. However, Couche-Tard President and CEO Alain Bouchard said Speedway -- which paid a total of $2.87 billion for Hess' retail network -- simply offered more than he was willing to pay.
"We were there, but the return on investment was not there," Bouchard said at Wednesday's Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal luncheon. "Marathon paid several million dollars more than the amount that [we were] willing to offer."
In addition, Bouchard noted that he wants to get a quick return on his investments following an acquisition, reported Le Journal de Quebec.
Moving forward, Couche-Tard expects to remain aggressive when it comes to convenience store acquisitions. Bouchard will hand over the reigns as president and CEO of the company on Sept. 24, with Brian Hannasch assuming the role. At that time, Bouchard will become the company's chairman of the board and has already stated that focusing on the merger and acquisition environment will be one of his top priorities.
Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. operates 6,221 c-stores throughout North America, including 4,724 stores with fuel dispensing. The retailer also operates 2,263 European stores across Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltics and Russia.