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Christian Flach, CEO Greenergy

Greenergy acquires Amber Petroleum

Fuel distributor Greenergy has acquired 100% of Amber Petroleum, an independent fuel distributor and retailer based in the Republic of Ireland. The deal offers Greenergy access to Amber’s 35 sites around the country. Amber sites are both company-owned and dealer-owned operations and offer vehicle fuel products as well as home heating petroleum.

Christian Flach, CEO Greenergy

Christian Flach, CEO Greenergy

“One of our key strategic objectives is to integrate our existing supply footprint with our expanding retail presence,” said Christian Flach, Greenergy CEO. “The acquisition of Amber follows our recent retail investment in 230 retail sites in Canada, and will enhance our capabilities in Ireland by building on our existing infrastructure, supply and retail operations.”

Liam Fitzgerald, owner and managing director of Amber Petroleum concurs, adding that Amber has served a loyal customer base for more than 40 years. “Amber’s success has been based on strong relationships with customers, suppliers and staff and we know that Greenergy shares these same values.”

Greenergy entered the Canadian market in 2013. This year they merged with Markham, Ontario’s BG Fuels, a gas retail operator with a significant presence in central Canada. Behind Greenergy’s success are extensive investments in marine and rail-fed storage terminals as well as in road haulage capability that allows them to import and distribute their blended fuel products to independent retailers.

In the United Kingdom where Greenergy is based, the company supplies more than 25% of the road-fuels market.


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Couche Tard on hunt for acquisitions but CEO doesn’t get rival’s Speedway deal

couche-tard2-780x520=Alimentation Couche-Tard continues to be on the hunt for acquisitions even as it claims convenience store rival 7-Eleven’s blockbuster US$21-billion acquisition of the Speedway network in the U.S. doesn’t make sense.

Chief executive Brian Hannasch told investors September 2 that the deal announced last month for the 3,900-store network owned by Marathon Petroleum “traded at value, quite honestly, I can’t understand.”

He said potential acquisition deals have been relatively quiet in the quarter but that activity should pick up as the focus on the COVID-19 pandemic lessens.

“Now that COVID has become a bit of the new normal, we are starting to see a little more deal flow … And if the value is there, we’ll certainly take advantage of those opportunities.”

The fragmented U.S. market remains a prime target as are significant opportunities in Western Canada.

Asia-Pacific, including Australia, remains “a strong area of focus due to long-term growth potential.”

“We are exploring several opportunities actively there,” Hannasch said, adding that the pandemic has created uncertainty Down Under.

He said Ampol (formerly called Caltex), which Couche-Tard had previously targeted, has been weaker than expected. Peter Sklar of BMO Capital Markets said he doesn’t believe Couche-Tard will pursue a deal in the near-term because of its weak financial performance.

While there are markets in Europe that are interesting, the region isn’t a priority, Hannasch noted.

Acquisitions are part of Couche-Tard’s strategy to double its size within five years.

Hannasch said its five-year plan remains on track after two years despite the coronavirus.

“I’m pleased that we continue to make good progress on most of our initiatives. While the pandemic has had an impact short-term on traffic patterns and behaviours, there’s a lot of pushes and pulls.”

Couche-Tard’s shares surged 7.5% Sept. 2, after it reported strong first-quarter results after markets closed on Tuesday.

The company said its net profit surged 44% despite a big drop in fuel sales at its convenience stores because of COVID-19.

The Quebec-based retailer that operates the Circle K brand says it earned US$771.1 million or 70 cents per diluted share in its first quarter, up from US$538.8 million or 48 cents per share a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings attributable to shareholders came in at 71 cent per share, up from 40 cents per share forecast by analysts, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“We had an exceptional quarter, I think, both financially and operationally, as we’ve seen an increase in shopping occasions and solid execution by our teams to take advantage of changing consumer behaviours during this COVID period,” Hannasch told analysts.

Revenues for the three months ended July 19 decreased 31.4% to US$9.71 billion, compared with US$14.2 billion a year earlier and below forecasts of US$10.55 billion.

The retailer said its in-store sales benefited from shoppers buying more, while fuel sales were hurt by lower demand and prices, partially offset by strong fuel margins.

Tobacco sales were strong, especially in Canada.

Same-store fuel volume decreased 21.2% in the U.S., 25.6% in Canada, and 12.4% in Europe.


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Mondelez buys majority stake in Canadian maker of two bite brownies Give & Go

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 10.16.36 AMMondelez International says it has signed a deal to buy a significant majority interest in Toronto-based Give & Go Prepared Foods Corp., maker of baked goods such as two-bite brownies.

Illinois-based Mondelez – maker of Oreo, Triscuit and Chips Ahoy! brands – is acquiring the stake in the privately held Give & Go from funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, LP.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Founded in 1989, Give & Go’s management team will maintain a minority interest in the company.

In addition to its two-bite brownies, Give & Go’s brands include Create-A-Treat, Mason St. Bakehouse and the Worthy Crumb Pastry Co.

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“Give & Go’s leading position in the large and fast-growing in-store bakery channel gives us a unique opportunity to expand into new, on-trend consumer spaces,” Glen Walter, executive vice-president and president, North America, for Mondelez International, said in a statement.

“Similar to our recent acquisitions of Perfect Snacks and Tate’s Bake Shop, this is yet another great example of our bolt-on acquisition strategy to establish foundations in faster growing snacking adjacencies.”