LAVAL, QC, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (« Couche-Tard ») (TSX: ATD.A ATD.B) announces today that corporation founder Mr. Alain Bouchard, has decided to take a new role as Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors starting September 24, 2014, the date of the next Couche-Tard shareholders' annual meeting. At the same time, Couche-Tard's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Brian Hannasch, will be promoted to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Mr. Bouchard has been a remarkable leader. He is a pioneer in the convenience store industry and has taken Couche-Tard from a single store to a worldwide network of over 12,600 stores and 80,000 people," said Mr. Réal Plourde, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Couche-Tard. "The Board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to Couche-Tard in his distinguished tenure as President and CEO. We are pleased that he will pursue his journey in a new role as Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, where he will continue to play an active role in Couche-Tard's growth and development," added Mr. Plourde.
"I have had the privilege of realizing a life-long dream," said Mr. Bouchard, "Of developing, together with extremely talented colleagues, a great, global convenience store and fuel chain we can all be proud of. Now, after more than three decades as President and CEO, it's time to continue my journey with Couche-Tard from a new perspective. I see this change as an evolution. It will let me invest more of my time in acquisitions and new industry opportunities. I will still be at the office on a daily basis, will take part in the results review every four weeks and the budgeting process. I will also take part in the strategic discussions and serve as a mentor and coach to our next generation of leaders."
"We have an amazing senior leadership team, and Brian is the right person to lead it. He has been intimately involved in developing our strategy, improving our business and he has played a pivotal role in the material acquisitions we made over the last thirteen years, including our largest and most recent, Statoil Fuel & Retail in Europe. His decisive leadership, his management skills and his deep experience across the entire value chain of our business uniquely qualify him to step into this role. He is well-respected across our industry, he inspires our people, and he embodies Couche-Tard's core values." added Mr. Bouchard.
"I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead Couche-Tard," said Mr. Hannasch, "particularly in a landscape that offers both challenges and unprecedented opportunities. We will stand firm by the DNA that has made Couche-Tard what it is today, and continue to act decisively to maintain our strong competitive position." He concluded "I look forward to building on Alain's legacy and, together with our talented, committed, skilled and experienced people, from the shop floor to the boardroom, to taking Couche-Tard to even greater heights."
The responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer will be shared by Couche-Tard's executive management team.
About Brian Hannasch
Brian Hannasch joined Couche-Tard in 2001 as part of the acquisition of Midwest US convenience chain Bigfoot - Couche-Tard's first step into U.S. territory. He quickly moved from Vice President Operations Midwest division to become Vice President Integration and then Senior Vice President North America, before being promoted to his current role of Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Mr. Hannasch has played an active role in the steady growth of Couche-Tard from 1,300 stores and 11,000 people in 2003 to its current 12,600 stores and approximately 80,000 people worldwide.
About Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
Couche-Tard is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry. In the United States, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of number of company-operated stores. In Europe, Couche-Tard is a leader in convenience store and road transportation fuel in Scandinavian countries and in the Baltic States while it has a growing presence in Poland.
As of February 2, 2014, Couche-Tard's network comprises 6,221 convenience stores throughout North America, including 4,724 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North-American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the United States covering 38 states and the District of Columbia and four in Canada covering all ten provinces. More than 60,000 people are employed throughout its network and at the service offices in North America.
In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Poland, the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Russia with 2,263 stores as at February 2, 2014, the majority of which offer road transportation fuel and convenience products while the others are unmanned automated service-stations which offer road transportation fuel only. The Corporation also offers other products, including stationary energy, marine fuel, aviation fuel, lubricants and chemicals. Couche-Tard operates key fuel terminals and fuel depots in eight countries. Including employees at Statoil branded franchise stations, about 18,000 people work in its retail network, terminals and service offices across Europe.
In addition, under licensing agreements, about 4,200 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in ten other countries worldwide (China, Guam, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Mexico, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates) which brings to more than 12,600 the number of sites in Couche-Tard's network.
The statements set forth in this press release, which describes Couche-Tard's objectives, projections, estimates, expectations or forecasts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation. Positive or negative verbs such as "plan", "evaluate", "estimate", "believe", "expect" and other related expressions are used to identify such statements. Couche-Tard would like to point out that, by their very natures, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties such that its results, or the measures it adopts, could differ materially from those indicated or underlying these statements, or could have an impact on the degree of realization of a particular projections. Major factors that may lead to a material difference between Couche-Tard's actual results and the projections or expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements include the effects of the integration of acquired businesses and the ability to achieve projected synergies, fluctuations in margins on motor fuel sales, competition in the convenience store and retail motor fuel industries, exchange rate variations, and such other risks as described in detail from time to time in the reports filed by Couche-Tard with securities authorities in Canada and the United States. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Couche-Tard disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking information in this release is based on information available as of the date of the release.
SOURCE Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
Image with caption: "Mr. Alain Bouchard, President and Chief Executive Officer with the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Brian Hannasch (CNW Group/Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140318_C5618_PHOTO_EN_38048.jpg