Canadian multinational Alimentation Couche-Tard, which recently bought Ireland’s largest convenience and fuel retailer Topaz Energy Group, has received European Commission approval for its deal to acquire Shell’s downstream retail business in Denmark, subject to divestment commitments.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur in May 2016. It will be financed from Couche-Tard’s available cash and existing credit facilities.

In March 2015, Couche-Tard announced an agreement with A/S Dansk Shell to acquire its retail, commercial fuels and aviation businesses in Denmark. Shell’s Danish retail business comprises 315 sites, of which 225 are full-service stations, 75 are unmanned automated fuel stations and 15 are truck stops. Of the 315 sites, 140 are owned by Shell, 115 are leased from third parties and 60 are dealer-owned.

Since then, Couche-Tard has worked closely with the commission, and it has received approval to retain 131 sites, of which 90 are owned and 41 are leased from third parties. Of these 131 sites, 74 are full-service stations, 49 are unmanned automated fuel stations and 8 are truck stops.

Subsequent to this transaction, Couche-Tard’s network in Denmark would include a total of 286 company operated-stores, 153 company-owned and dealer operated and 44 dealer owned and dealer operated. These figures include 211 unmanned automated sites.

Couche-Tard has proposed to sell a mix of both its current sites and Shell-branded stations, including the Shell/7-Eleven network and Shell’s dealer-owned network, to DCC Holding, the Irish conglomerate that owns Certas Energy.

Pending the customary regulatory approvals, this transaction is expected to close during the second half of fiscal 2017.

“Today is a great day for Couche-Tard in Denmark,” says Jacob Schram, Couche-Tard’s Group President Europe. “The acquisition from Dansk Shell puts us in a strong position in the Danish market - a core market for Couche-Tard in Europe.”