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    Wholesale News: Core-Mark Expands with Couche-Tard

    Meanwhile, Independent Wholesale Inc. searches for a buyer.

    SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Core-Mark Holding Company Inc., distributor to 22,000 retailers in 45 states and five Canadian provinces, revealed plans to expand in Canada with a new distribution facility in the Toronto, Ontario region as of Feb. 1, 2008.

    The new facility expands the company's reach in Canada, which currently spans from British Columbia to western Ontario and serves convenience companies in the region including Alimentation Couche-Tard.

    With the expansion, Core-Mark and Couche-Tard signed long-term supply agreements for the convenience chain's central Canada region, which operates more than 600 stores in the Ontario province. The two companies also recently renewed supply agreements with Couche-Tard's retail stores in western Canada, operating under the Mac's banner, and the western U.S. under the Circle K banner.

    "We are thrilled to be able to expand our geography, especially into a region in which we currently enjoy business relationships with several of the leading retailers," Mike Walsh, Core-Mark's CEO, said in a written statement. "I am doubly pleased to further strengthen our business relationship with Alimentation Couche-Tard, clearly one of the most successful and innovative convenience retailers in North America. We are grateful that their confidence in our capabilities and services has made this opportunity a reality."

    Meanwhile, Orlando, Fla.-based Independent Wholesale Inc. retained investment banking firm Equity Partners Inc., located in Pasadena, Md., to find a buyer for the company's tobacco, candy and grocery distributing business, which makes up 95 percent of sales volume for the company, reported the Orlando Business Journal.

    Independent Wholesale supplies 10 percent of the $500 million Central Florida tobacco, candy and c-store market, according to the company.

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