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    Couche-Tard Restructures North American Operations

    LAVAL, Quebec - Canada¿s leading convenience store operator, Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc., is restructuring the organization for its North American operations. This new structure fits into the company's decentralized business model and the integration of the Circle K stores it acquired in the United States.

    LAVAL, Quebec - Canada’s leading convenience store operator, Alimentation Couche-Tard, Inc., is restructuring the organization for its North American operations. This new structure fits into the company's decentralized business model and the integration of the Circle K stores it acquired in the United States.

    The operations of Couche-Tard's North American network will now be grouped under two large markets, Eastern North America and Western North America, giving rise to the creation of two newly created senior v.p. positions.

    Stephane Gonthier has been appointed s.v.p., Eastern North America, while Brian Hannasch has been appointed s.v.p. for Western North America. Both will report directly to Real Plourde, e.v.p. and c.o.o.

    Based on the new structure, Gonthier will be responsible for the following business units: central Canada (of which he also remains v.p., operations, until the appointment of his successor), Eastern Canada, U.S. Southeast and the Florida/Gulf region. Hannasch will be responsible for the business units of the U.S. Midwest, Arizona, West Coast and Western Canada, while continuing with his current responsibility overseeing the Circle K Integration Committee until May 2005.

    In a statement, Plourde noted that each business unit remains autonomous, and that the new structure will favor decentralization and the company’s differentiation strategy.

    In North America, Couche-Tard is the fourth-largest convenience store operator and the second-largest independent (not integrated with a petroleum company) convenience store operator. The company operates a network of 4,816 convenience stores, 3,008 of which include motor fuel dispensing, located in eight large geographic markets, including three in Canada and five which cover 23 American states.

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