Up to the Minute: Couche-Tard sweetens Carrefour bid

Plus, LP/AD picks up a new rugby client and Shine acquires Rock-It's influencer agency.

Couche-Tard makes its case for Carrefour acquisition

After Alimentation Couche-Tard confirmed reports that it is pursuing an acquisition of French grocery retailer Carrefour this week, it has announced more details meant to sweeten the $20 billion USD offer.

As first reported by Bloomberg, the convenience store giant says it will invest over $3.6 million USD into the retailer over five years and pledge to preserve jobs for two years.

Carrefour is one of the top-ten largest retailers globally, though it is currently in the middle of a rebuilding phase that makes it more attractive for acquisition by Couche-Tard. In addition to 7,193 convenience stores that would fit well with Couche-Tard’s portfolio, it also owns 3,412 supermarkets and 1,207 “hypermarkets,” which combine elements of a supermarket with a department store.

While Couche-Tard has become the second largest Canadian company by revenue largely through acquisitions of convenience stores in the U.S. and Asia, the latest bid has baffled some experts, saying a push into Europe doesn’t seem to align with its geographic priorities and that managing such a large portfolio of grocery stores is a very different operational endeavour than convenience stores and gas stations. Couche-Tard stock prices fell after news of the bid was made public.

LP/AD is once again in the rugby game

Toronto’s LP/AD has picked up new work with the Toronto Arrows, a team that plays in Major League Rugby. The agency will work on promotional activities ahead of the 2021 season, including planning and execution of social media activities and creative and promo support offline, pending confirmation of a pandemic-permitted game schedule. LP/AD’s work in the meantime will focus on establishing a presence on social platforms such as TikTok.

The agency is no stranger to rugby, having previously worked with the Toronto Wolfpack. That team was forced to withdraw from competition in the Super League last year due to “overwhelming financial challenges” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; a subsequent bid to return to competition was voted down by the league in November, and the team announced it would not operate in 2021.

Shine acquires Fourth Flour Management

Influencer relations and talent management agency Shine Talent Group has acquired influencer management agency Fourth Floor Management.

Fourth Floor was founded in 2014 as a talent management division within Rock-It Promotions by agency CEO Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski. She will continue to advise Shine during the course of a two-year transition period, and said in a release that Rock-It will work closely with Shine on future collaborations for its PR work. Jess Hunichen, who co-founded Shine with Emily Ward, said that despite the volatility of 2020, the agency managed to grow by five staff, and the acquisition will help further round out its roster of Canadian talent.