Thursday 15 November 2018

DCC reaches deal with Topaz-owner to buy Danish business

Tommy Breen Chief Exec before the start of the DCC Annual Report and Accounts 2008
Tommy Breen Chief Exec before the start of the DCC Annual Report and Accounts 2008

Colm Kelpie

Irish conglomerate DCC has reached a deal with Topaz-owner Alimentation Couche-Tard to buy a fuels business from it in Denmark.

The business was formerly owned by Shell and will involve an investment by DCC of around €40m.

The deal includes Shell's commercial and aviation distribution business in Denmark and a 139-site retail petrol station network and contracts to supply 66 dealers.

DCC will also enter into a long-term brand partnership with Shell to operate the network under the Shell brand.

Canada-based Couche-Tard is selling the business to comply with competition conditions set when it bought Shell's Danish downstream marketing operations last year.

The transaction will require a total investment by DCC of around DKK300 million (€40.25m). The business will be merged with DCC's existing oil distribution business in Denmark and will leverage DCC's newly developed retail trading platform.

DCC chief executive Tommy Breen welcomed the deal. "This acquisition will significantly strengthen our business in Denmark, as well as further develop our presence in the retail market for transport fuels, following our previous acquisitions in the European retail petrol station market in Sweden and France," he said.

The Shell brand will be retained through a long-term partnership while the business will be merged. Couche-Tard has around 15,000 sites across its network in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, employing around 100,000 people. It announced in December that it was buying Topaz, which had been owned by businessman Denis O'Brien for the previous two years.

Couche-Tard has operations throughout the US and Canada, as well as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the Baltics and Russia, Asia and the Middle East.

In a trading update issued last month, DCC said operating profit was "very significantly ahead" of the previous year in the three months to the end of December.

London-listed DCC said it expected full-year operating profit and adjusted earnings per share to be very significantly ahead of the prior year and in line with market consensus. It did not provide specific numbers.

Shares in DCC closed up 1.7pc in London to £60.09 each.

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