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    Students' Circle K Strategy Wins Citigroup Prize

    Given 32 hours, students establish strategy to expand chain in China.

    TEXAS -- A team of students from the University of Texas' McCombs School of Business won first place in the Citigroup International Competition, where students were given 32 hours to establish a business strategy for the expansion of Circle K convenience stores in China.

    The UT team beat 16 others from around the world with their case, which involved Circle K's plans to expand in China, now a member of the World Trade Organization. Hong Kong-based companies, such as Convenience Retail Asia, a Circle K affiliate, have a three-year window to expand in China, before foreign investors are allowed to stake their claims, according to a report in the Austin Business Journal.

    Houston-based ConocoPhillips agreed to sell its Circle K chain to Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., based in Laval, Quebec earlier this month.

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