Toronto, Canada, ZEXPR, Kansai Halifax Holdings has today released a research report on Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc, as the Canadian convenience-store operator reveals it has entered exploratory talks with Europe’s largest retailer, Carrefour SA, regarding a potential transaction and a deal that would mark a significant strategy shift for the firm.
“Carrefour has confirmed the discussions are true,” said Michael Taylor, Director of Capital Markets at Kansai Halifax Holdings. “Shares of the French retail giant rose 10% in Paris trading this year, giving the firm a market capitalization of $15.4 billion at close on Tuesday. Couche-Tard shares dropped 2.2% following media reports about the deal, they closed at C$41.31 in Toronto, securing the company with a valuation of nearly $36 billion,” he added.
Throughout its history, Couche-Tard’s has focused on convenience stores and gas stations, not supermarkets. It has established its global reach by carefully acquiring smaller competitors, initially at home in Canada prior to entering the U.S. in 2001 and Europe in 2012. Its focus lately was on the Asia Pacific region, where it entered the market in November by purchasing Convenience Retail Asia Ltd’s Hong Kong unit for $359.80 million.
“By acquiring Carrefour, Couche-Tard would enter the supermarket business and expand its footprint in Europe, where its potential target runs more than 2,800 supermarkets and 703 larger-format hypermarkets. It would also mean a quick expansion into South America, as Carrefour also has a foothold in Argentina and Brazil,” said Jonathan Scott, Director of EMEA Wealth Management at Kansai Halifax Holdings.
In Europe, Couche-Tard operates an extensive retail network throughout Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia. Most of these stores fall under the Circle K brand.
According to researchers at Kansai Halifax Holdings, an agreement would add to the $182 billion worth of deals reported in the retail sector over the last 12 months. Convenience-store operators have started to expanded into the supermarket industry, including in the U.K., where in October TDR Capital partnered with the gas-station entrepreneurs behind EG Group to buy a controlling stake in grocery giant Asda from Walmart Inc.
Headquartered in Japan, Kansai Halifax Holdings is one of Asia’s leading wealth management companies, entrusted to manage over $6.45 billion in client investment capital.
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