Alimentation Couche-Tard is ending its two-tier share structure this week

LAVAL, Que. – The convenience store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard inc. this week is ending its two-class equity structure.

The Quebec-based company will convert all of its outstanding Class B shares into Class A shares on a one-for-one basis starting Wednesday’s trading day, earlier than previously noted.

A so-called sunset clause was put in place in 1995 to put an end to the double-class share structure when the youngest of the company’s founders turns 65 or dies.

The clause is triggered on Wednesday with the birthday of the youngest founder, Jacques D’Amours.

The category A shares held by the four founders – D’Amours, Alain Bouchard, Richard Fortin and Réal Plourde – confer 10 votes per share while the category B shares carry one vote per share.

Bouchard, who is executive chairman of the board, says the four founders will remain directors and closely involved in the organization.

“My commitment and my leadership in the company will not change, and I am more convinced than ever that our size, our culture and our winning strategy, and the structures that we have put in place, both at the level of the general management and from a governance point of view, will serve the company well, ”he said in a statement.

The four founders tried unsuccessfully to expand their voting rights in 2016, but a shareholder vote on the proposal was overturned after concluding that two-thirds of subordinate shareholder support was not possible.

The four will still control a significant number of shares, but will no longer have the voting rights to unilaterally block any takeover bid or shareholder share that they do not like.

The issuance of multiple voting shares has come under scrutiny due to the family battle at Rogers Communications Inc., which is controlled by the Rogers family through the over-the-counter share structure. dual category of business.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 6, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX: ATD.B)

Ida M. Morgan