Caseys hit out at Couche-Tards "opportunistic" bid

Casey's hit out at Couche-Tard's "opportunistic" bid

Casey's General Stores has called on its shareholders to refrain from responding to rival c-store operator Couche-Tard's hostile takeover offer. 

Casey's board has repeatedly rebuffed overtures from Couche-Tard and refused to enter into negotiations, arguing that Couche-Tard's proposal is “opportunistic” and undervalues the chain.

The US company also warned that it would adopt a “poison pill” approach that would see it issue new shares to dilute Couche-Tard's holding if it increased its stake to more than 15%.

Frustrated by Casey's management's vigorous defence, Couche-Tard today (2 June) presented its unchanged US$36-per share offer directly to shareholders for their consideration.

"It remains our strong preference to enter into a negotiated transaction with Casey's and it is unfortunate that the Casey's board has rejected our $36 per share all-cash offer without any discussion or negotiation," said Couche-Tard president and CEO Alain Bouchard.

Reacting to the news, Casey's board said that shareholders should not respond to the offer until it had been duely considered by management. Casey's said that it would make a recommendation on the deal within ten working days.

Couche-Tard also warned that if talks stall again it will nominate nine independent directors for election to Casey's board at the company's AGM in September.

Casey's said that, if and when such nominations are made, the board will “evaluate the submission and candidates” consistent with the company’s by-laws.