Couche-Tard to add Ireland's Topaz to European convenience store network

MONTREAL – The company that owns Mac’s and Couche-Tard stores is making further advances in Europe with the acquisition of Ireland’s leading operator of gas bar and convenience store stations.

The Quebec-based company says it has an agreement to buy the Topaz chain for an undisclosed price.

Couche-Tard says Topaz is a good strategic fit within its European network.

“It has an extensive and attractive convenience and fuel network, with good locations, quality forecourts and stores, an excellent food offering and very professional teams,” Europe group president Jacob Schram said in a statement.

Topaz has a network of 464 fuel stations across the island of Ireland including its recently acquired Esso station network.

Of these stations, 162 are owned by Topaz and 302 by dealers.

The agreement also includes a commercial fuels operation, with over 30 depots and two owned terminals.

Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) is one of North America’s largest operators of convenience stores and gas bar retailing operations.

In the United States, it operates mainly as Circle K which will eventually become its main global brand outside of Quebec.

The Montreal-area company headquartered in Laval has been building its presence in Europe since the 2012 purchase of Statoil Fuel & Retail — which operates primarily in the Scandanavian and Baltic region.

In English Canada, Couche-Tard is best known for the Mac’s convenience store chain which will be converted to the Circle K brand starting in May 2017. In its home province, the Couche-Tard banner will remain.