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Couche-Tard sells 52 sites in Atlantic Canada, furthers expansion plan in the region

The sale is part of an agreement with the Competition Bureau and allows the company to finalize its purchase of the Wilsons network of c-stores and fuel stations.
couche tard store sign

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) has completed the sale of 52 sites to Harnois Énergies, a Quebec-based fuel company and c-store operator. The sale allows ACT to expand its offering in Atlantic Canada through the acquisition of the Wilsons network.

ACT announced the sale on March 1, with the approval of the Competition Bureau

The sale is the latest development in ACT’s acquisition of the Wilsons network, Cape D’Or Holdings, Barrington Terminals and other holding companies, which operate an independent c-store and fuel networks in Atlantic Canada under the Esso, Wilsons Gas Stations and Go! Stores brands. 

ACT originally announced its acquisition of the Wilsons network in 2021, but was later scrutinized by the Competition Bureau. The federal competition regulator concluded that the deal would lessen or prevent competition in the supply of retail gasoline in some markets. 

The Wilsons network has location in all four Atlantic Canada province – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island – with many corporate owned and operate c-store and fuel locations operating as Wilsons Gas Stops and Esso Stations, more than 120 dealer locations in Atlantic Canada and a marine fuel terminal in Halifax, N.S.

ACT agreed to sell sites to Harnois Énergies to address the Bureau’s concerns from August last year. 

Wilsons is a well-known name in Canadian convenience and gas, with a rich history dating to the early 1800s, when the Wilson family first established a trade company. The Wilson family established the Wilson Construction Company and helped rebuild Dartmouth after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The Wilson family entered the fuel industry in 1909, when the Wilsons founded a coal company to supply fuel.

"We are pleased to welcome the Wilsons network into the family and look forward to its integration," said Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard. "The addition of this strong network further strengthens our position in Atlantic Canada, and we are excited to add great team members to the Couche-Tard family," concluded Mr. Hannasch.

With its acquisition of the Wilsons network, net of the sale of 52 sites to Harnois Énergies, ACT is adding 45 corporate-owned and operated convenience retail and fuel locations and more than 120 dealer locations in Atlantic Canada as well as a marine fuel terminal in Halifax, N.S.

Harnois Ènergies was established in 1958 in Quebec. Since then, the company has expanded its offering and now operates Harnois, Esso and Pétro-T fuel stations as well as Proxi and  Proxi Extra c-stores. 

ACT operates in 24 countries and territories, with more than 14,300 stores and offers road transportation fuel at 10,900 of its stores. It is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and is a leader in the c-store industry and road transportation industry in Canada and elsewhere. 

The company was named the Impact Award winner at Convenience Store News Canada's inaugural 2022 Impact Awards. The company was recognized for its community service when the c-store giant stepped up to support several public and private initiatives helping Ukrainian refugees.

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