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10/12/2021

Alimentation Couche -Tard buys 6.3 million shares from co founder for $300 million

Bouchard and three other founders agreed to let 25-year-old stock rights that gave them control of the company expire.
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LAVAL, Que.  Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. says it has reached an agreement with the retailer's co-founder and executive chairman to purchase 6.35 million Class B shares for about $300 million.

The Quebec-based convenience store company says the $47.23 per share purchase from Developpements Orana Inc., a company controlled by Alain Bouchard, represents a 2% discount on Thursday's closing share price.

The purchase, to be funded by cash on hand, was approved by independent board members after a special committee consulted with outside legal and financial advisers and received a fairness opinion. Quebec's securities regulator agreed to exempt the company from issuer bid requirements.

The repurchase comes after Bouchard and three other founders who built the convenient store empire agreed to let their 25-year-old stock rights that gave them control of the company expire.

Eric Boyko, a company director and chair of the special committee, said the transaction represents "a unique opportunity to repurchase shares at an attractive price, which will create value for all shareholders."

Bouchard will continue to own or control about 35.1% of total voting rights, down from about 35.3% before the repurchase.

"Over the last four decades, Couche-Tard has become a world leader in convenience and mobility,'' Bouchard said in a statement, noting that he has no plans to sell additional shares in the near future.

"I am more confident than ever before that our size, our winning culture and strategy, and the structures that we have put in place, both at the leadership level and from a governance standpoint, will serve the business well as we grow into an even stronger, more innovative company.''

The share repurchase is part of Alimentation Couche-Tard's normal course issuer bid that started last April to repurchase up to nearly 32.1 million Class B shares.