Couche-Tard expected to bid on Hess’ U.S. retail operations

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ANCUF) is expected to make a play to expand its already large U.S. presence after Hess (HES) filed to spin off or sell its retail convenience store network.

Couche-Tard has the financial wherewithal to support a deal of ~$1.5B after reducing its debt from the $3.6B purchase of Europe’s Statoil Fuel and Retail, Canaccord says, adding that Hess would help to bolster its presence in the northeast U.S.

Oppenheimer's Fadel Gheit thinks Hess would be wiser to pursue a spinoff, since the company wouldn't pay any taxes and it would keep the Hess brand name, which has some value.

Hess operates 1,258 fuel and food outlets from Florida to New Hampshire and is the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee by number of sites.

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