Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
After the transaction with Jean Coutu, the chief financial officer of Metro, François Thibault, had hinted that the company might divest itself of its investment when the time comes.
A week after it announced the acquisition of the Jean Coutu Group, Metro has decided to liquidate part of the investment holdings in Alimentation Couche-Tard, which will allow the grocer to collect 1.55 billion.
The company said on Wednesday, after the market close, that it was to give 11.4 million shares of class A and class B for an amount of $ 650 million to a group led by National Bank Financial and BMO capital Markets. The supermarket chain will also sell, in the course of the next two days, the same number of shares to a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
In addition, Couche-Tard has agreed to repurchase, for cancellation purposes, up to 4.37 million of its shares held by Metro for about $ 250 million.
In all of these transactions, the sale price of the shares of Couche-Tard was $ 57,17 $. On the Toronto stock Exchange, the title of Couche-Tard, class B closed on Wednesday at 58,94 $, up 12 ¢.
At the end of these transactions, Metro will own 5.1 million shares with multiple voting rights of the operator of convenience stores and service stations, which represents 3.9% of class A shares and 0.9 % of the outstanding securities. “The shares sold by Metro pursuant to these transactions represent approximately 85 % of the 32 million shares that it held prior to the transaction,” one can read.
In announcing the transaction with Jean Coutu on 2 October, Metro had reported having credit agreements of approximately $ 3.4 billion with three financial institutions to finance the transaction. During a conference with analysts, the chief financial officer of the company, François Thibault, has suggested that Metro may divest itself of its investment, at the time, without giving a precise timetable.
The combined business of Jean Coutu and Metro will generate annual sales of approximately $ 16 billion and operate over 1,300 supermarkets and pharmacies in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.
Metro is investing $ 400 million in Ontario
The giant quebec Metro Wednesday announced a planned investment of 400 million over six years in its Ontario distribution network. This decision will result in an estimated loss of approximately 180 full-time jobs and 100 part-time jobs as of 2021. Metro has indicated that it will provide to people affected by this decision in a series of transitional measures. The company will also modernize its operations to Toronto between 2018 and 2023 by building a new distribution center for fresh products and a new distribution centre for frozen products. The two facilities will benefit from improvements in technology, such as automation.