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Oil Week: Couche Tard expected to make play for Shell stores in U.S., says analyst (Couche-Tard-Shell)

Oct 15, 2007 3:39:00 PM MST
 
MONTREAL _ Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) is expected to expand its growing presence in the United States by making a play for some of the 2,000 service stations that Shell Oil Company is planning to dispose of in the coming years, says an analyst.

“Couche-Tard has a solid relationship with Shell and is well-positioned to bid on some of these assets,‘‘ Jessy Hayem of Desjardins Securities said in a research note.

In a recent “internal‘‘ update to an initiative started a couple of years ago, Shell said it planned to nearly double the number of “direct-supplied and company-operated‘‘ sites it planned to dispose.

The third-largest operator of gas stations and convenience stores in the United States has been transforming its retail operations.

Shell intends to complete the selloff by the third quarter of 2009.

The Quebec-based convenience store operator has purchased 286 locations from Shell and US$1.15 billion of revenue from three separate transactions in 2004 and 2006.

It plans to acquire 250 stores in fiscal 2008, well below the 413 stores acquired in fiscal 2007, as it focuses more on integration of the 200-plus stores acquired from Shell last December.

On the TSX, Couche-Tard shares lost 16 cents to $20.13 in trading Monday

http://www.oilweek.com/news.asp?ID=11902

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