The agreement includes 46 leased properties and three owned properties and is expected to close by July 31. The Quebec-based convenience store company says it has also hired a real estate consulting firm to help it sell another 306 locations across North America following a strategic review.
“The decision to divest certain stores is part of the company’s network optimization strategy and follows a comprehensive and uniform network planning process that began in the fall of 2020,” said the CEO of Couche- Late, Brian Hannasch, in a statement.
“Through this process, we have identified sites that no longer meet our strategic objectives, either from a brand perspective or from a regional perspective. ”
He added that the retailer has identified many opportunities for expansion by building new stores, expanding others, improving store layouts and increasing sales of fresh produce.
Stores for sale include 269 locations in 25 states in the United States and 37 locations in six provinces in Canada.
According to RBC Dominion Securities analyst Irene Nattel, the 355 stores, which include stores that will be sold to Casey’s general stores, represent about 3.8% of Couche-Tard’s network.
“Given the real estate value associated with the sites to be divested, it is quite possible that the total proceeds exceed $ 285 million, especially if the locations for sale include prime locations in urban areas,” he said. she writes in a note to clients.
“While this morning’s announcement is not too important from a financial standpoint, we view the news positively. The network optimization operation is consistent with our positive views regarding management’s focus on maximizing returns and thinking outside the box in its pursuit of shareholder value. ”
The deal with Casey’s comes more than a decade after the Iowa-based chain repelled an attempted hostile takeover of Couche-Tard.
Couche-Tard has more than 14,200 stores in 26 countries and territories.