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PRNewswire: MarketWatch: Couche-Tard Acquires 236 Sites from Shell

ATD. A, ATD. B / TSX
Last Update: 9:22 AM ET Oct 5, 2006

LAVAL, QC, Oct 05, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. announces that it has, through an indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Circle K Stores Inc., signed agreements to purchase 236 sites from Shell Oil Products US and its affiliate Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Should the transaction close as expected, the company evaluates that these assets would add approximately 340 million gallons in motor fuel volume sales and approximately US$120 million in merchandise sales and contribute to its earnings on an annualized basis.

This transaction is expected to close before the end of the 2006 calendar year and is subject to standard regulatory approvals and closing conditions. According to a confidentiality agreement between the parties, the purchase price cannot be disclosed at this time. Internal available cash dollars will be used for the transaction along with the company’s revolving term credit facilities.

The 236 sites currently operate under the Shell banner and are located in Baton Rouge (22), Denver (71), greater Memphis area (16), Orlando (28), Southwest Florida (46) and Tampa (53). Of the 236 sites acquired, 175 are company-operated, 49 are operated by dealers and 12 have a motor fuel supply agreement.

In the case of the 49 dealers, we will continue to own (25) or lease (24) the premises and will supply motor fuel to the sites. As for the 12 sites, we have no control over the real-estate but will continue to supply motor fuel. The company-operated sites will be reimaged Circle K and will continue to sell Shell motor fuel pursuant to supply agreements signed with Shell and Motiva. In addition to station and supply contract sales, the agreements provide for the conversion of approximately 250 existing Circle K sites to the Shell brand in these and other US markets.

Under these arrangements, the convenience stores will remain Circle K branded while the fuels offering will become Shell branded. Pursuant to these agreements, the company would buy the land and buildings for 200 locations and assume 24 leased sites.

The company plans to invest an aggregate amount of approximately US$ 45 million over the next five years, of which US$ 25 million will be invested within the first 18 months to either raise and rebuild or renovate the stores at such sites in accordance with Circle K standards.

“Strategically, these acquisitions would be excellent additions to our current network, while entering into a new market (Denver) and would efficiently complement the network expansion plans. Consistent with our development strategy, we selected these sites based on the following criteria: prime locations, potential for growth, quality of people and the opportunity to expand our relationship with Shell Oil US,” indicated Brian Hannasch, Senior Vice-President, Western North America.

Profile
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Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In North America, Couche-Tard is the third largest convenience store operator and the second largest independent (not integrated with a petroleum company) convenience store operator and the most profitable one within such category as a publicly held company. Couche-Tard’s network is currently comprised of 5,205 convenience stores, 3,244 of which include motor fuel dispensing, located in eight large geographic markets, including three in Canada and five, which cover 23 States in the United States. Some 38,000 people are employed throughout Couche-Tard’s retail convenience network and executive offices.

The statements set forth in this press release, which describes Couche-Tard’s objectives, projections, estimates, expectations or forecasts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation. Positive or negative verbs such as “plan”, “evaluate”, “estimate”, “believe”, “expect” and other related expressions are used to identify such statements. Couche-Tard would like to point out that, by their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties such that its results, or the measures it adopts, could differ materially from those indicated or underlying these statements, or could have an impact on the degree of realization of a particular projection. Major factors that may lead to a material difference between Couche-Tard’s actual results and the projections or expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements include the effects of the integration of acquired businesses and the ability to achieve projected synergies, fluctuations in margins on motor fuel sales, competition in the convenience store and retail motor fuel industries, exchange rate variations, and such other risks as described in detail from time to time in the reports filed by Couche-Tard with securities authorities in Canada and the United States. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Couche-Tard disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking information in this release is based on information available as of the date of the release.

SOURCE ALIMENTATION COUCHE-TARD INC.
Richard Fortin, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, (450) 662-3272; Brian Hannasch, Senior Vice-President, Western North America, (812) 350-6735; [email protected]; www.couche-tard.com http://www.prnewswire.com Copyright (C) 2006 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
 

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