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Corner Store Colossus Couche-Tard Buys U.S. Chain The Pantry for $1.7 Billion

Dépanneur dominance extends south.

Couche-Tard makes a power move
Couche-Tard makes a power move

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the pervasive Quebec-based chain of dépanneurs, or convenience stores, announced a blockbuster purchase of The Pantry Inc. today. The acquisition, estimated at USD 1.7 billion, will see the Québécois conglomerate absorb more than 1,500 stores in 13 southern states.

Couche-Tard was one of North America's largest operators of convenience stores before the deal, with thousands of Couche-Tard and Mac's outlets in Canada and Circle K stores across the United States. The company has more than 60,000 employees in North America and operates in the likes of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Russia.

This latest move cements the brand's prodigious reach.

Brian Hannasch, Couche-Tard's president and CEO, calls the purchase a prime "opportunity [for The Pantry] to realize full and immediate value for their investment."

Pantry president and CEO Dennis Hatchell, for his part, sees it as "an exciting combination of two strong companies that complement each other extremely well."

No word on whether The Pantry stores in the Southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S. will get Sloche machines anytime soon.