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Couche-Tard wins protracted bid for Statoil retail outlets

A pedestrian walks past a Couche-Tard convenience store in Montreal, April 18, 2012.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/REUTERS

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has succeeded in its protracted, $2.7-billion takeover bid for Norway's Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA.

The Quebec-based convenience store chain and fuel station operator says almost 91 per cent of Statoil Retail's shares have now been tendered to the offer.

That is above the 90 per cent threshold at which Couche-Tard has said it would initiate a compulsory acquisition of the rest of the shares in the company, which operates about 2,300 outlets in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

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Couche-Tard, which owns its namesake and Mac's convenience stores in Canada and Circle K gas bars in the United States, had repeatedly said its offer of 51.20 Norwegian krone ($8.81 Canadian) per share was its final offer.

However, it until recently, it had trouble convincing many minority shareholders to accept the bid, even though owner Statoil ASA had agreed to tender its 54 per cent interest from the outset.

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