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Convenience chain Casey’s General Stores has announced that it has received a $1.5 billion takeover offer worth about $40 per share from an unnamed company, a bid that is above the recent $38.50 bids made by Alimentation Couche-Tard. Casey’s board of directors, which has rejected the Couche-Tard offers, says that the new bid also is too low, but has authorized negotiations with the new bidder.

The board has yet to negotiate with Couche-Tard, which has been in the hunt for months, and recently completed a $38 per share buyback effort designed to stave off the Couche-Tard moves.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Couche-Tard said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that is pleased that Casey's has ‘finally’ put itself up for sale and that it ‘looks forward to participating in Casey's auction process.’ But the company did express surprise and suspicion over the disclosure's timing, coming two weeks before Casey's annual meeting and shortly after the buyback's completion.”

The also notes that speculation is that the unnamed new bidder is a private equity group that would be more likely to keep current management in place.
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