Convenience retail giant 7-Eleven has reportedly made an offer to buy US rival Casey’s General Stores.

A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed yesterday (8 September) that 7-Eleven had made a bid worth US$40 a share for Casey’s.

The emergence of 7-Eleven as a purported suitor for Casey’s came a day after Casey’s said it had received a $40-a-share offer for the business – but declined to name the interested party.

Casey’s has spent the last five months in the M&A spotlight after Canadian c-store retailer Couche-Tard went public with its interest in the business.

The US firm, however, has repeatedly rejected Couche-Tard’s advances, including bids of $36, $36.75 and $38.50 a share. Casey’s has consistently said Couche-Tard’s offers have under-valued its business.

Casey’s also rejected the $40-a-share offer from the unnamed suitor but said it would enter talks to see if a deal could be struck that reflected the “true value” of the business.

Before the WSJ report linking 7-Eleven to Casey’s emerged, Couche-Tard had reacted positively to the news that there was a rival offer on the table. However, Couche-Tard expressed suspicion over Casey’s admission that there was a second suitor interested in the business, with Casey’s AGM scheduled in two weeks time.

Couche-Tard, meanwhile, said it had struck a deal with US anti-trust regulators to obtain clearance for an acquisition of Casey’s – should the Canadian firm ultimately prevail in its pursuit of the US retailer.

Officials at Couche-Tard, Casey’s and 7-Eleven could not be reached for immediate comment.