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Competition Bureau clears Couche-Tard/CST deal with conditions

Quebec-based company must sell some of its Canadian assets before deal can close

The Competition Bureau of Canada is giving the green light to Alimentation Couche-Tard to purchase its American fuel and convenience store rival CST Brands, provided the company sell some of CST's Canadian assets to Parkland.

In a statement Tuesday, the company based in Laval, Que., said the Competition Bureau gave them the clearance for the acquisition of CST Brands, and the transaction with Parkland Fuel.

Couche-Tard said the closings of both transactions are expected Wednesday.

The Competition Bureau said Couche-Tard's proposed deal would lessen competition in numerous markets in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

But the government agency said to address the concern, Couche-Tard agreed to sell 366 gas stations and gasoline supply contracts to Parkland and one gas station to Philippe Gosselin & Associes Limitee.

The Competition Bureau said Parkland had also agreed to sell nine gasoline supply contracts to MacEwen Petroleum or McDougall Energy in Ontario.

On Monday, Couche-Tard won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to buy CST Brands on condition it sell up to 71 stores in the U.S. The stores are located in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas.

Empire Petroleum will also have the opportunity to purchase an additional site owned by Couche-Tard. This transaction is expected to be finalized by the beginning of September.

Couche-Tard is the largest convenience store operator in Canada and has more than 8,000 convenience stores throughout North America, which are mostly branded as Circle K and Mac's.

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