SAN ANTONIO -- Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Japan’s Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd. have submitted offers to acquire U.S. convenience-store retailer CST Brands Inc., people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard, owner of the global convenience-store chain Circle K, and Tokyo-based Seven & i, owner of the global 7-Eleven convenience-store chain and 7-Eleven Inc. in the United States, are competing against several other bidders for CST Brands, including a consortium of private-equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Apollo Global Management LLC, the sources said.
CST Brands will seek at least one more round of offers before deciding on whether it will sell, said the report.
The sources asked not to be named because details of the sale process are confidential. CST and Blackstone declined comment to the news agency, while Seven & i, Couche-Tard and Apollo did not immediately respond to its requests for comment.
In December 2015, after activist investors sent letters to San Antonio-based CST Brands’ board expressing concerns about strategy and shareholder value, speculation began about a possible sale of the company. CST Brands agreed to conduct a strategy reveiw and consider all possible ways to improve its value, including a sale.
Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s Speedway LLC, Couche-Tard and Energy Transfer Partners’ Sunoco LP were among the companies said to be interested in a potential acquisition of CST Brands, a source familiar with the situation told TheStreet.com at the time.
Last month, the new head of Seven & i Holdings Co., the Japan-based parent of 7-Eleven Inc., said he plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven convenience stores in the United States to boost overall market share amid slowing demand in Japan and as the chain contends with intensified competition. He did not mention CST Brands, however.
And Seven & i rival Lawson Inc., Japan’s second-biggest convenience-store operator, recently announced it is looking to buy chains in the United States as it speeds up overseas expansion with the aim of boosting its number of overseas outlets.
CST Brands is one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience-store merchandise in North America. It has more than 2,000 locations throughout the southwest United States, Georgia, Florida, New York and eastern Canada. CST also owns the general partner of CrossAmerica Partners LP, a master limited partnership (MLP) and wholesale distributor of fuels, based in Allentown, Pa.