Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. announces that it has received approval today from the European Commission for its deal to acquire A/S Dansk Shell’s downstream retail business in Denmark, subject to divestment commitments. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur in May 2016. It will be financed from Couche-Tard’s available cash and existing credit facilities.

In March 2015, Couche-Tard announced an agreement with A/S Dansk Shell to acquire its Retail, Commercial Fuels and Aviation businesses in Denmark. Shell’s Danish Retail business comprises 315 sites, of which 225 are full-service stations, 75 are unmanned automated fuel stations and 15 are truck stops. Of the 315 sites, 140 are owned by Shell, 115 are leased from third parties and 60 are dealer-owned.

Since then, Couche-Tard has worked closely with the European Commission with the aim of obtaining approval for the transaction as compatible with Europe’s internal market and with the European Economic Area Agreement. Couche-Tard today announces that it has received approval to retain 131 sites, of which 90 are owned and 41 are leased from third parties. Of these 131 sites, 74 are full-service stations, 49 are unmanned automated fuel stations and 8 are truck stops.

Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard’s network in Denmark would include a total of 286 company operated-stores, 153 company-owned and dealer operated and 44 dealer owned and dealer operated. Included therein are 211 unmanned automated sites.

Couche-Tard has proposed to divest a mix of both its current sites and Shell-branded stations, including the Shell/7-Eleven network and Shell’s dealer-owned network. In addition, Couche-Tard has proposed to divesting A/S Dansk Shell’s commercial and aviation fuels businesses.

Couche-Tard, through its wholly-owned indirect Danish subsidiary Statoil Fuel & Retail A/S, has signed an agreement for the sale of the divested assets with DCC Holding A/S, a subsidiary of DCC plc. Pending the customary regulatory approvals, this transaction is expected to close during the second half of fiscal 2017. Until approval and completion of this transaction, Couche-Tard and the divested businesses will continue to operate separately.

“Today is a great day for Couche-Tard in Denmark,” says Jacob Schram, Couche-Tard’s Group President Europe. “The acquisition from Dansk Shell puts us in a strong position in the Danish market – a core market for Couche-Tard in Europe.”

Hans-Olav Høidahl, SVP Scandinavia, Statoil Fuel & Retail says, “Shell operates an attractive network inDenmark. Combining our operations will give us the opportunity to create a winning unmanned offering and develop an unrivalled full-service and convenience offering in Denmark.” Høidahl continues, “The divestment package allows us to concentrate on operations that are in line with our business model, extending our reach to additional, desirable areas of the market while reducing site overlap.”

Plesner, Euclid Law and Oxera have acted as economic advisors to Couche-Tard for this transaction.