MONTREAL – Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. founder Alain Bouchard is handing the chief executive torch to chief operating officer Brian Hannasch after turning a tiny Quebec convenience store operation into a powerhouse of global retailing.
Both the timing of the transition and the selection of Mr. Hannasch were expected as the American was widely seen as the heir apparent. Mr. Bouchard, who will become executive chairman, said last year that the company had a clear succession plan in place and that he would be switching roles as part of the change.
MONTREAL — It’s a little known fact about Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. founder Alain Bouchard that he played drums in a teenage rock band covering Beatles and Rolling Stones hits. Less surprising may be that the budding entrepreneur paid for the band’s equipment himself — and was slowly reimbursed from the money they earned performing.
Canada’s convenience store king calls those his “rebellious” days, a period that came after the years of hardship his family endured when his father lost his income.
MONTREAL • Corporate Quebec has shown no qualms in recent years tapping American executive talent to run its cherished enterprises. Tennessee native Hunter Harrison steered Canadian National Railway Co. Washington State-raised Robert Card was brought in to repair SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
MONTREAL • Canadian convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has been approached by investment bankers to bid for a minority stake in China’s Sinopec Sales, the biggest fuel retail network in the world.
But whether it pulls the trigger and makes a binding offer for the estimated US$16-billion asset is another question entirely.
Couche-Tard shares soared to a 52-week high of $31.95 on the news Tuesday but later retreated as investors re-evaluated the odds of a deal.
TORONTO — Alimentation Couche-Tard’s $1.6 billion purchase of 279 gas stations gives a sizable boost to its leading position in Canadian convenience store retailing, particularly in the province of Ontario.
Part two of the public refinancing of the debt package put in place last year to allow Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard to outlay US$2.8-billion to purchase Norway’s Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA played out Thursday.
LAVAL, Que. — The 54-year-old Mac’s convenience store brand is being retired by owner Alimentation Couche-Tard, which is adopting the Circle K banner for most of North America, Europe and Asia.
The company will keep its Couche-Tard banner in Quebec, where the company has its head office in Laval.
It will begin rolling out its Circle K brand to other parts of Canada in May 2017, following rollouts in the United States and Europe that begin next year.
MONTREAL — When Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. executive Jean Bernier was a child, he remembers going to his local corner store to buy penny candy and believes most people have grown up with lasting memories of the convenience store experience, even if the price of sweets has gone up a few cents over the years.
“It has always been part of my life and I think it has been part of most people’s lives,” he said.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has never been a company to shy away from acquisitions, as its purchase of the Circle K chain in 2003, Statoil Fuel & Retail in 2012, and the unsuccessful bid for Casey’s General Stores in 2010 demonstrate.
But rather than look for deals in the U.S. market, the convenience store and gas station operator may pursue opportunities in Canada and Europe.