HomeBusinessCircle K brand to enter South Africa

Circle K brand to enter South Africa

Millat Convenience (Pty) Ltd (“Millat”), a subsidiary of the Millat Group, has entered into a Master License Agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (“Couche-Tard”) subsidiary that will bring Circle K, one of the world’s leading convenience retail brands to South Africa. This agreement grants Millat the right to open and operate Circle K franchises throughout the country as the exclusive licensee.

The first Circle K store is expected to be opened in the Gauteng province towards the end of October 2022.

Circle K offers fast and friendly service, providing fresh food, hot and cold beverages and other convenience products, as well as fuel, car wash and, in a growing number of locations, electric vehicle charging. Established in 1951 in Texas, USA, Circle K was acquired in 2003 by Couche-Tard, a global leader in convenience and mobility headquartered in the city of Laval, Canada. With Circle K as its global brand, Couche-Tard’s network today consists of nearly 14,100 locations across 24 countries and territories, including approximately 1,900 franchise locations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.

Hamza Farooqui, CEO of Millat Group, said his company has worked extensively over the past year to lay the foundation for Circle K’s introduction to the South Africa market.

“This deal once again shows Millat’s strength in bringing willing international brands into South Africa to invest, creating job opportunities and economic growth,” said Farooqui. “Bringing Circle K to South Africa aligns with our concept of introducing customer-centric brands, experiences, and compelling food service offerings. This further speaks to our strategy to play within the leisure, hospitality, food service and convenience segments.”

“As a brand, Circle K is an acknowledged leader in the convenience retail sector, and this deal will allow for disruption in this space as we are a company with extensive expertise in every facet of convenience and retail,” Farooqui added. “We are currently engaging oil majors and property management companies in South Africa to ensure that we have a strong base to begin Circle K’s presence in the coming weeks.”

Circle K

Pat Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Global Franchise for Circle K, said South Africa presents Circle K with compelling opportunities for growth as the brand continues to expand in markets around the world.

“We are always exploring opportunities to bring Circle K to new customers with franchise partners who understand how to build brands in their markets,” said Fitzpatrick. “Millat Group understands the South African consumer, has a strong track record of building retail, hospitality and food service brands in that country and has exciting plans for the Circle K brand. We are very pleased to be working with them to bring to life our mission to make our customers’ lives a little easier every day.”

Millat was represented on this transaction by Dentons. Global franchising partner Babette Marzheuser-Wood led the legal team on the deal with support from senior associate Karolina Cotronei.

Marzheuser-Wood says, “This is one of the most exciting franchising transactions in Africa so far this year: it will bring a world-renowned convenience store brand to a new market of 60 million people.  It was our pleasure to represent Millat on this deal, which is a key milestone in their growth strategy.”

About the Millat Group

The group is a private family office that uses its own balance sheet to bring entrepreneurial solutions to complex commercial problems. The group has a strong investment portfolio which includes real estate, direct investments, and private equity holdings. It owns flagship assets in South Africa and internationally. It deploys its capital and know-how on assets and sectors it deeply understands. Its sectors of expertise include real estate, hospitality, technology, and financial services. 

For more information, please visit www.millatinvest.com.

About Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, operating in 24 countries and territories, with almost 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,700 offer road transportation fuel. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and it is a leader in the convenience store industry and road transportation fuel retail in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics, as well as in Ireland. It also has an important presence in Poland and Hong Kong SAR. Approximately 122,000 are employed throughout its network.

For more information about Circle K, please visit www.circlek.com. For more information about Alimentation Couche-Tard, please visit corpo.couche-tard.com/en/