Repsol Said to Draw Couche-Tard Interest in Client Business Unit

Spanish energy producer Repsol SA has attracted interest from suitors including Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. as it seeks to sell a stake in its client business unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Couche-Tard, the acquisitive Canadian company that runs the Circle K convenience store chain, and some private equity firms have separately been evaluating the potential deal, according to the people. Repsol is seeking to sell a 25% holding in the unit and has asked for binding offers by the end of the month, the people said.

The stake could be worth around 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the people said. The subsidiary pools together the revenue the Spanish company gets from its gas stations, car-sharing business and residential electricity customers, while the physical assets will stay with Repsol.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty who will submit formal bids, the people said. A representative for Repsol declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Couche-Tard didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Any transaction by Couche-Tard would be its first big deal since the company’s failed takeover offer for French retailer Carrefour SA at the start of the year. In January, Couche-Tard executives said they would still like to buy the French grocer some day, but will turn their focus to other potential acquisitions.

Shares of Repsol have risen 33% in Madrid trading this year, giving the oil producer a market value of about 17.2 billion euros. The company has also been exploring options for its low-carbon business unit that could include an initial public offering or the sale of a minority stake.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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