French oil major TotalEnergies is selling some of its European petrol stations to Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard for $3.3 billion as part of plans to turn them into food and services hubs, the companies said on Thursday, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.
Couche-Tard has been seeking to expand in Europe since its bid for French grocer Carrefour failed in 2021 due to opposition from the French government.
The companies said that under the deal the Canadian firm would buy all of TotalEnergies' service stations in Germany and the Netherlands, as well as purchasing a 60% stake in the French company's stations in Belgium and Luxembourg.
The company will pay the purchase price of 3.1 billion euros ($3.29 billion) in cash.
"Service stations must expand from just selling fuel to become fully-fledged service hubs," TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a joint statement.
TotalEnergies said it would retain control of activities related to off-station electric vehicle charging (charging hubs), hydrogen retail and wholesale fuel business, as well as the AS 24 service station network for trucks.
The transaction will help TotalEnergies meet a target of reducing its petroleum product sales by 30% by 2030 so that its fuel sales and refining throughput do not exceed its oil production, the company said.
Since 2015, TotalEnergies has divested its service station networks in Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Couche-Tard said it plans to fund the deal with available cash along with existing credit facilities and new debt.
Founded in 1980, Couche-Tard has grown from a single store in Quebec to a global network of convenience stores and gas stations mostly through acquisitions.
In January 2021, Couche-Tard's $20 billion approach for Carrefour, Europe's largest food retailer, was rejected by the French government on food security concerns.