The Quebec company that owns Circle K convenience stores intends to buy a San Antonio competitor in a $4.4 billion deal.

CST Brands Inc. announced Tuesday that its board of directors has approved an offer from Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. for its 2,000 gas and convenience stores, clustered primarily in the Southwest with some locations in Florida, Georgia, New York and eastern Canada. In 2011, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. bought 19 gas and convenience stores owned by South Portland-based Dead River Corp.

Alimentation Couche-Tard operates 6,250 convenience stores throughout Canada and the United States. In its statement announcing the intended acquisition, CST Brands said the deal will create the “world’s preferred destination for convenience and fuel.”

“Our board believes that Couche-Tard is an ideal partner for CST,” said Kim Lubel, chairman and chief executive, in a news release. “With Couche-Tard, we will build upon an extensive and attractive convenience and fuel network with enhanced scale and global reach to best position the combined company for future growth. Importantly, our employees will benefit from new opportunities for career development as part of a larger, global company. We look forward to working closely with Couche-Tard to seamlessly complete the transaction and ensure a smooth integration.”

The acquisition must still receive regulatory approval in the U.S. and Canada, and from CST stockholders. Participants hope to conclude the deal by early 2017.

Under its terms, Couche-Tard will acquire all of the shares of CST for $48.53 per share in cash, representing approximately $4.4 billion, including the assumption of net debt, according to the release. Couche-Tard expects to finance the transaction with available cash, its existing credit facilities and a new term loan.

Upon completion of the transaction, Circle K will establish a new business unit in San Antonio with attached shared services operations. CST employs about 14,000 people.

It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CST. Couche-Tard trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ATD.A and ATD.B.

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