Couche-Tard has hinted it could raise its takeover bid for Casey’s General Stores if the US retailer, which is also facing interest from c-store giant 7-Eleven, conducts a “fair” process to buy the company.

Casey’s has attracted two firm takeover offers – one from Canadian retailer Couche-Tard worth US$38.50 a share and a second from 7-Eleven of $40 a share.

Couche-Tard has seen a series of its bids rejected by Casey’s board and on 1 September raised its offer to $38.50 a share. Casey’s again brushed off the approach and last week confirmed it had received a higher offer from 7-Eleven.

Casey’s also rejected the 7-Eleven offer but said it would talks with the company to see if a deal could be reached on a bid that reflected the “true value” of the business.

Seemingly stung by Casey’s decision to enter into talks with 7-Eleven, Couche-Tard, which first went public with its interest in the US firm in April, wrote to the Casey’s board to ask to be involved in a “fair process”.

“Since you have begun the process of exploring a sale transaction involving Casey’s, we fully expect that you will afford us the same opportunity to participate in the process. Our senior management team and our legal and financial advisors have been and remain ready to meet with you and your representatives to negotiate a transaction that benefits your shareholders. We are prepared to proceed expeditiously,” Couche-Tard president and CEO Alain Bouchard wrote in the letter, which was published on Friday (10 September).

Bouchard hinted that Couche-Tard could up its offer for Casey’s if the Canadian company was able to conduct due diligence on the US firm.


“Your shareholders will benefit if all interested bidders are granted equal access to the process and an opportunity to submit offers derived from that process,” Bouchard said.

“In our case, our offer has been made public since April 2010, and we have increased our offer price to $38.50 per share. If we are granted access to a fair process and have the opportunity to conduct a confirmatory due diligence review of Casey’s, we would be willing to consider further increasing our offer. Should Casey’s decline to conduct a fair process, your shareholders would be deprived of additional value that we may have been willing to offer.”

Bouchard also asked Casey’s to push back its AGM, which is set for 23 September, so the US retailer can conduct “a full and fair sale process” and report back to its shareholders ahead of the meeting.