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Canadian company buying Holiday convenience store chain

The Holiday Stationstore on 40th Avenue West in Duluth. Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian company, has agreed to purchase the chain's Minnesota stores. (Barrett Chase / bchase@duluthnews.com)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Canadian convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard has agreed to purchase Minnesota-based Holiday Stationstores, in a deal announced Monday, July 10.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Couche-Tard expects the sale to close during the fourth quarter of 2018. Couche-Tard’s agreement with Holiday includes all of the issued and outstanding shares of Holiday Stationstores and certain affiliated companies.

“We are pleased to entrust Couche-Tard with carrying forward the Holiday brand and our highly successful programs,” Holiday CEO Ronald Erickson said in the news release. “Our 90-year history and our promising future are being placed into excellent hands.”

Quebec-based Couche-Tard — French for “night owl” — plans to keep Holiday’s operational headquarters in Bloomington, the company said in the news release.

Founded in 1928, Holiday operates 522 stores — 374 company-owned and 148 franchise locations — across 10 states, centered in the Upper Midwest, and employs nearly 6,000 people. It has a significant footprint in the Northland, with more than 40 locations across the region. It’s been competing head-to-head with newly arrived Kwik Trip in a number of those communities, including Duluth, Superior, Cloquet, Hermantown and Two Harbors.

Holiday also owns and operates a fuel terminal in Newport, Minn., that supplies one-third of the stations, as well as a food commissary that produces and provides fresh and frozen food to all Holiday stores.

“The acquisition of Holiday is a great fit for Couche-Tard and will allow us to continue to build on our geographical growth strategy,” said Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard. “We believe there are tremendous synergies between the two companies and that it also gives us a great entry point into the Upper Midwest and in particular a strong position in the Greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.”

Couche-Tard operates close to 14,000 stores in Canada, the U.S. and more than 20 other countries. It has operations in 42 U.S. states, with many stores using the Circle K brand name, and employs about 94,000 people in North America alone.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press contributed to this report.

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