interest in bp stores grows

Couche-Tard could make a play for units in Indiana.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. said it’s interested in purchasing some of the more than 700 convenience stores BP America Inc. plans to sell in the U.S. over the next two years.

The Laval, Quebec-based retailer said it interest is piqued because the company operates in some of the same Midwest markets as the BP company-owned-and-operated stores under its Circle K retailing brand.

Richard Fortin, Couche-Tard’s chief financial officer, told the Canadian Press the company’s wasn’t aware of BP’s specific streamlining plan for its gas bar network, but considers all opportunities for acquisitions as part of its expansion plans for the U.S.

BP announced plans to sell more than 700 stores, eliminating nearly 10,000 jobs. The company said most of the sites will be sold to franchise owners, while some will be sold to dealers and large distributors. The sites will continue to sell BP fuels in the eastern U.S. and Arco fuels in the western U.S., with the store brand now to be known as am/pm across the country. About 95% of BP’s 13,000 U.S. retail sites currently are independently operated.

Couche-Tard operates a network of 5,615 convenience stores, 3,444 of which include gasoline dispensing, across 29 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces. The company operates through Couche-Tard and Macs brands in Canada and the Circle K banner in the U.S.

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