LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. signed an agreement to acquire Topaz Energy Group Ltd., Ireland’s leading convenience and fuel retailer, according to a CSPnet.com.

If consummated, stated the article, the purchase agreement follows Topaz’s recent acquisition of Esso Ireland’s fuels and convenience business, which closed Dec. 1.

The c-store and fuel retailer, based in Dublin, now has 464 gas stations, including the recently required Esso locations, continued the article, of which 162 are owned by Topaz and 302 by dealers.

“In 2012, we declared that Statoil Fuel & Retail would be our platform for growth in Europe. This agreement to acquire Topaz’s network and assets, our second announcement in Europe this year following the Danish Shell deal, would allow us to add yet another high-quality network to our operations,” said Brian Hannasch, president and CEO of Couche-Tard, in the article. “We have been looking at this market for several years. With the addition of Topaz, we would expand our geographic footprint into what, today, is one of Europe’s best performing economies.”

The purchase agreement is described by Topaz CEO Emmet O’Neill as being a “game changer” for Ireland’s retail sector, reported the article.

“Couche-Tard is one of the strongest names in retail in the world, and their presence in Ireland will transform the retail sector here,” stated O’Neill in the article. “I am thrilled that they have chosen Topaz as the foundation for their entry to the Irish market. They will bring enormous skill, energy and resources to this business and this market.”

The transaction includes the purchase of the majority share capital, more than 99.86 percent, of Topaz Energy Group Ltd. and Resource Property Investment Fund plc, noted the article, as well as Esso Ireland Ltd.’s entire share capital.

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