This article published December 2015. For latest news THIS MONTH'S ISSUE


Couche-Tard to acquire Topaz, Ireland's leading convenience and fuel retailer

Alimentation Couche-Tard has announced that it has signed, through one of its wholly-owned indirect subsidiaries, an agreement to acquire Ireland’s leading convenience and fuel retailer Topaz, through purchasing the majority share capital (more than 99.86%) of both Topaz Energy Group Limited (“TEGL”) and Resource Property Investment Fund plc (“RPIF”), together with the entire share capital of Esso Ireland Limited. The minority shareholders of TEGL and RPIF will be invited to take part in the same opportunity. This acquisition would position Couche-Tard as the leading convenience and fuel retailer in Ireland.

The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of Couche-Tard’s fiscal year 2016 and is subject to the usual regulatory approvals and closing conditions. It would be financed using Couche-Tard’s available cash and existing credit facilities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price for this acquisition. Topaz is the leading convenience and fuel retailer in the country, made up of 464 stations across the island of Ireland including its recently acquired Esso station network. Of these stations, 162 are owned by Topaz and 302 by dealers. The agreement also encompasses a commercial fuels operation, with over 30 depots and two owned terminals.

“In 2012 we declared that Statoil Fuel & Retail would be our platform for growth in Europe. This agreement to acquire Topaz’s network and assets, our second announcement in Europe this year following the Danish Shell deal, would allow us to add yet another high quality network to our operations,” said Brian Hannasch, president & CEO of Couche-Tard. “Ireland has been on an extraordinary journey over the past decade. We have been looking at this market for several years. With the addition of Topaz, we would expand our geographic footprint into what, today, is one of Europe’s best performing economies.”

“As part of the larger Couche-Tard merchant family, and with the strong, global Circle K brand in our portfolio, we are well-equipped to take on this significant market,” said Jacob Schram, Couche-Tard’s group president Europe. “Topaz would be a great strategic fit for Couche-Tard and it would strengthen our position in Western Europe. It has an extensive and attractive convenience and fuel network, with good locations, quality forecourts and stores, an excellent food offering and very professional teams. We look forward to welcoming Topaz into our family.”

Insight managing director Dan Munford's recent interview with Topaz CEO Emmett O'Neill.

This Retail Vision video also profiles the Topaz business.

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