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Convenience store giants Couche-Tard, EG Group explore a link-up

Convenience store Circle K seen in Hong Kong. Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Alimentation Couche-Tard and EG Group, the British retailer, are exploring a tie-up worth around $16 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, a marriage that would bring together two of the world’s largest convenience store chains.

Why it’s the BFD: A combination would unite companies that have together generated nearly $70 billion in annual revenues, and merge thousands of fast-food joints, gas stations and grocery stores across several continents.

  • Canadian-based Couche-Tard has a reach mainly in the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe while EG’s network can be found in the U.K., Western Europe and Australia.

Context: The merger talks come over a year after Couche-Tard dropped its bid to buy French supermarket chain Carrefour for a deal worth about $20 billion following the French government's rejection of the takeover.

Be smart: Billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who control EG Group alongside private equity firm TDR Capital, were noted as potential bidders for Walgreens Boots Alliance’s U.K. drugstore chain, according to multiple reports.

What’s next: Talks between Couche-Tard, which is listed on the Toronto stock exchange with a market cap of $46.7 billion, and privately held EG Group have been stalled in recent weeks due to disagreements over the deal’s price, the Journal reported.

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