The Canadian parent company of Circle K Stores, Alimentation Couche-Tard, has received regulatory approval for a $4.4 billion acquisition of CST Brands. After selling off 229 stores to satisfy antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Canada, the convenience store chain will add a total of 1,300 stores to its North American footprint.
Couche-Tard is already the largest convenience store chain in Canada and operates 8,000 locations throughout North America, mostly under the Circle K and Mac’s banners.
The deal puts Couche-Tard closer to matching the store count of its rival 7-Eleven, which added more than 1,100 units from Sunoco in an April 2017 acquisition. 7-Eleven currently operates more than 9,800 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
The CST acquisition also helps Couche-Tard in its move toward more fresh food offerings. CST had sought to insulate itself from volatile tobacco sales and falling fuel prices by placing a greater emphasis on groceries and freshly prepared food, according to the San Antonio Express-News.