Metro is selling the majority of its holdings in Alimentation Couche-Tard.
The company said in a release that it will sell 11,369,599 of its Couche-Tard Class B shares to dealers led by National Bank Financial and BMO Capital Markets. The sale is expected to provide about $650 million in proceeds.
Metro is also selling the same number of Class A shares to CDP Investissements Inc. et CDPQ Marches Boursiers Inc., - two subsidiaries of Caisse de depot et placements du Quebec - which is also expected to provide proceeds of approximately $650
Additionally, Metro Holdings has reached an agreement with Couche-Tard to repurchase and cancel 4,372,923 Class B Multiple Voting Shares, for approximately $250 million.
The sale is expected to be complete on or before Nov. 7, 2017, on the condition Couche-Tard obtains an order from the Autorite des marches financiers of Quebec exempting Metro from takeover bid requirements under Part 2 of Regulation 62-104.
Metro announced a $4.5 billion cash and stock offer for Quebec-based pharmacy Jean Coutu on Oct. 2.
One day later, Metro CEO Eric LaFleche said in interview with BNN that the company would divest from Couche-Tard 'if and when the market [presents] the right opportunity'.
“We will be using proceeds from Couche-Tard if and when the market [presents] the right opportunity for us. … We will take our time,” he said. “We have full financial flexibility, full financing commitments to close the transaction. So, we have time ahead of us.”
After all the sales and the Couche-Tard repurchase are completed, Metro Holdings will still be the beneficial owner of 5,114,923 Class A Multiple Voting Couche-Tard shares. That represents about 3.9 per cent of all the company’s issued and outstanding Class A Multiple Voting Shares.