Couche-Tard Ups Bid for Casey’s

LAVAL, Quebec — Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard here on Wednesday increased the value of its hostile bid to buy Casey’s General Stores to $38.50 per share, increasing the likelihood of an acquisition, according to some analysts.

LAVAL, Quebec — Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard here on Wednesday increased the value of its hostile bid to buy Casey’s General Stores to $38.50 per share, increasing the likelihood of an acquisition, according to some analysts.

“We believe the probability of this transaction being approved is increasing — although at this stage would probably not place it much above 50%,” said Karen Short, a New York-based analysts with BMO Cpaital Markets. “In the very least, we view this offer as more realistic and would hope Casey’s board would at least open the lines of communication with Couche-Tard.”

Couche-Tard, parent of the Circle K chain, had previously bid $36.75 per share, netting a limited response from shareholders and prompting Casey’s to launch a Dutch auction tender offer and a recapitalization plan to thwart the takeover attempt.

“We believe that our revised offer is the most attractive strategic alternative available to the Casey's shareholders, and delivers immediate cash value superior to what Casey's can deliver continuing as a standalone company,” said Alan Bouchard, Couche-Tard’s president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. “We remain ready, willing and able to complete a transaction with Casey's expeditiously and urge the Casey's board of directors to begin discussions with Couche-Tard immediately to maximize value for the Casey's shareholders and make this combination a reality.”