UPDATE 1-Canada's Couche-Tard to buy Shell's Danish retail businesses

Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:36am EDT
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(Adds details on deal, background)

March 17 (Reuters) - Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard said on Tuesday that it would acquire the retail, commercial fuel and aviation businesses of Royal Dutch Shell in Denmark to expand its presence in Scandinavia.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Pending regulatory clearances, they said they expected it to close in the second half of Couche-Tard's next fiscal year, which ends around April 2016.

Couche-Tard will finance the acquisition, which includes 225 full-service stations, 75 automated fuel stations and 15 truck stops, from available cash and existing credit facilities.

The aviation segment operates out of seven Danish airports including one in Copenhagen.

The deal would allow Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard to use the Shell brand in Denmark for up to 10 years.

"This acquisition would be a great addition to our network in Scandinavia," Jacob Schram, head of Couche-Tard's European operations, said in a statement.

This would be Couche-Tard's first major foray into Europe since its acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA for $2.8 billion in 2012. That deal brought the company 2,300 automated and full-service gas stations across Scandinavia.

Couche-Tard had hinted last year that it was in the market for acquisitions.

In December, the company agreed to buy smaller U.S. rival Pantry Inc for $861 million, bolstering its huge position in that market. (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Ron Bousso in London; Editing by David Goodman and Lisa Von Ahn)