A fuel company with a long history in Atlantic Canada has been bought by a multinational company with Canadian headquarters in Quebec.
The network of Esso and Wilsons Gas Stops and Go! convenience stores is set to be sold to Couche-Tard, a Quebec company that operates in 26 countries.
Couche-Tard announced the binding agreement Friday, saying it will close in the first half of next year pending a review by the Canadian Competition Bureau.
The agreement covers 79 corporate-owned convenience stores and gas stations, 147 dealer locations and a marine fuel terminal in Halifax. The convenience stores and gas stations are spread throughout the Atlantic provinces.
In an internal email to staff, Wilsons president Ian Wilson notified all employees of the deal.
"We will stay in our positions and continue running the business until the transaction closes," Wilson wrote, adding that he is committed to an orderly transition.
"We have decided it is the right time for our family to pass the baton to someone to take this business to the next level," he wrote.
The Wilson family will still own and operate Wilsons Heating, Wilsons Security, Kerr Controls and Ski Wentworth.
The dollar amount of the deal was not stated in the company's press release. Couche-Tard declined to release further details.
In 2016, Wilson Fuel Company bought up 20 Esso gas stations in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to add to its existing portfolio, saying at the time the eighth-generation family business was "looking to grow."
The Retail Gasoline Dealers Association of Nova Scotia, which represents the more than 140 independent Wilsons stores, said its members are proceeding with business as usual.
"I think that as time moves on our independents will understand more clearly how it affects them individually, but at this point I think things are going to run smoothly, as they do at the moment," said Shannon Trites, the organization's executive director.
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