Circle K to Enter South Africa Through Master Franchise Agreement
Millat Convenience Ltd will open the first franchised site in the Gauteng province in late October.
LAVAL, Québec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Millat Convenience Ltd entered into a master license agreement that will bring the Circle K banner to South Africa.
Millat, a subsidiary of Millat Group, has been granted an exclusive license to develop franchised Circle K stores in South Africa. The company expects to open the first location in the Gauteng province in late October.
"We are always exploring opportunities to bring Circle K to new customers with franchise partners who understand how to build brands in their markets," said Pat Fitzpatrick, vice president of global franchise for Circle K.
"Millat Group understands the South African consumer, has a strong track record of building retail, hospitality and food service brands in that country and has exciting plans for the Circle K brand," Fitzpatrick added. "We are very pleased to be working with them to bring to life our mission to make our customers' lives a little easier every day."
Outside of the United States and Canada, Couche-Tard has approximately 1,900 franchise Circle K locations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
Millat Group is a privately owned, multinational family business with a broad portfolio of assets within the tourism and hospitality sectors, including real estate, direct investments and private equity holdings. It owns flagship assets in South Africa and internationally.
Hamza Farooqui, CEO of Millat Group, said his company has worked extensively over the past year to lay the foundation for Circle K's introduction to the South Africa market.
"Bringing Circle K to South Africa aligns with our concept of introducing customer-centric brands, experiences, and compelling food service offerings. This further speaks to our strategy to play within the leisure, hospitality, food service and convenience segments," said Farooqui. "As a brand, Circle K is an acknowledged leader in the convenience retail sector, and this deal will allow for disruption in this space as we are a company with extensive expertise in every facet of convenience and retail."
Laval-based Couche-Tard operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, as well as in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland.