Counsel to FCL in Landmark Deal to Acquire 181 Husky Retail Sites

In a move to expand its reach across Western Canada, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) has signed a deal to acquire 181 Husky retail fuel sites from Cenovus Energy Inc.

The deal, valued at $264 million, will see FCL acquire a mix of gas bars, on-site car washes and convenience stores, which will be transferred to several independent local Co-ops across Western Canada, according to a release. The transaction represents the largest retail acquisition in FCL’s history and will strengthen the organization’s presence in the region.

“This historic deal for our organization clearly aligns with our vision of building sustainable communities together and reaffirms our commitment to Western Canada, to our member-owned Co-ops and to their local members and customers,” FCL CEO Scott Banda said in a statement. “By increasing our retail footprint, we further strengthen our position to meet the needs of our local Co-ops and their communities into the future.”

A Deep Commitment to Western Canada

Founded in 1944, FCL is a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative owned by more than 160 independent local co-operative associations across Western Canada. The organization has a deep commitment to the region, and MLT Aikins was pleased to act as counsel to FCL on this transaction.

“MLT Aikins is proud to serve as legal advisors to FCL on various matters throughout Western Canada and our relationship has continued to grow over the past number of years,” said Saskatoon lawyer Ryan Hallman, who, together with Chris Hahn, led the legal team that worked on this transaction. “As Western Canada’s Law Firm, MLT Aikins has deep roots in each of the provinces that FCL serves, and a shared interest in advancing economic opportunities throughout Western Canada.”

The deal to acquire the Husky retail sites was a complex undertaking spread across multiple jurisdictions, with retail sites being acquired in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The MLT Aikins legal team, which involved more than 20 lawyers, didn’t shy away from the months of hard work involved in this project, and our lawyers were gratified to see FCL succeed in this milestone transaction.

“FCL and MLT Aikins have a common bond in our deep commitment to Western Canada,” FCL General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Sheldon Stener, Q.C., said. “Investing in our local communities is foundational to everything we do at FCL and so we value being able to work with lawyers who work and live in the same communities that we serve. We have achieved consistent growth over the years by working with the lawyers at MLT Aikins. Their deep knowledge of Western Canada, and their passion for seeing local communities succeed, have made MLT Aikins the perfect partner for us.”

In addition to Ryan and Chris, the lawyers who worked on this project included: Jonathan Troyer, who advised on fuel supply matters; Scott Exner, who handled real estate; Kevin Mehi, who oversaw due diligence and acted as the lead transactional associate; Todd Rosenberg, who advised on tax matters; Robert Frost-Hinz, who advised on labour and employment issues; as well as Doug Osborn (retired) and Rob McKinnon.

Next Steps for FCL

Once the transaction closes, FCL plans to advance production at the Co-op Refinery Complex and the Co-op Ethanol Complex, both of which provide significant contributions to the Western Canadian economy. FCL also intends to move forward with previously announced plans to invest in carbon capture and renewable diesel production.

“This deal strikes a positive balance between the current and future needs of our Western Canadian customers,” Scott Banda said. “We are committed to enhancing the sustainability of our fuels and recognize the important role co-operatives play in responding to the needs of our communities, members and customers. We’re looking forward to extending our reach, and continuing to fuel Western Canada, through this deal.”

MLT Aikins has an active mergers and acquisitions practice and a lengthy history of working with FCL and other preeminent names throughout Western Canada. We have extensive experience working on medium to large-scale transactions across the region, including many complex deals involving numerous jurisdictions. Learn more about our M&A team.