Alimentation CoucheTard Inc to sell aviation fuel business in Europe

LAVAL, Que. — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.  says it has an agreement to sell its Europe-based aviation fuel business to Air BP, one of the world’s largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services.Financial terms of the deal to sell Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation weren’t released on Wednesday, but the sale will be done through a share purchase agreement.The deal, subject to standard regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation supplies fuel products to airliners, general aviation, military and bulk customers in nine countries across Northern Europe.BP Air says the deal will add about 73 new airports in northern Europe to its 600-strong global fuels network. About 59 Statoil Fuel & Aviation employees, based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are expected to join Air BP. Air BP, the aviation division of BP, has more than 1,100 employees.Couche-Tard has a network of more than 6,200 convenience stores throughout North America, including 4,478 stores with fuel dispensing services, and employs more than 60,000.In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a retail network across Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, comprised 2,250 stores of which the majority offer fuel and convenience products, while the others are automated service-stations which offer road transportation fuel only.Couche-Tard operates key fuel terminals and fuel depots in eight countries. Including employees at Statoil branded franchise stations, about 17,500 people work in its retail network, terminals and service offices across Europe. read more

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Pakistan Angelina Jolie and refugee chief pledge support to quake victims

Victims of the earthquake in Pakistan continue to receive high-level support from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), as its chief, António Guterres, and its Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, visit areas worst-hit by the 8 October disaster.Ms. Jolie wrapped up an intensive two days of briefings on a variety of refugee-related issues at the UN refugee agency’s headquarters in Geneva late on Wednesday, before heading off to Pakistan to lend support to the agency’s emergency operations and its 25-year-old Afghan refugee programme.”This time, I’ve been looking deeper into specific issues that affect refugees’ daily lives,” she said shortly before boarding her flight, adding that she had received briefings on issues such as gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, refugees and the environment, trafficking of women, micro-credit programmes, water, site-planning and emergency operations.This will be the Oscar-winning actress’s third visit to Pakistan since becoming UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador in August 2001.On the other hand, this is six-day mission is the first official visit to the region for Mr. Guterres, who assumed his responsibilities in June 2005.Arriving in Islamabad yesterday morning, Mr. Guterres flew off immediately to Muzaffarabad, one of the areas worst hit by the quake. There, he met the top official of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as well as UN agencies and non-governmental organizations working with UNHCR in the area. He also visited Ghari Habibullah camp in Balakot, where he was briefed by the Pakistan military running the camp.“I have no words to express my feelings,” Mr. Guterres said at a joint press conference with Ms. Jolie after seeing Balakot. “It’s more than physical damage. It’s the loss of human lives – children who were at school when the building collapsed.”“As a woman and mother, it was especially hard to imagine the children and their mothers when the earthquake hit,” Ms. Jolie added.From Geneva, a UNHCR spokesperson said that quake survivors living in the camp told him they were concerned about longer-term issues like reconstruction and education for their children. In that context, however, the top UN official coordinating earthquake relief in Pakistan, Jan Vandemoortele, has called on donors not to prioritize long-term reconstruction if it meant neglecting urgent relief needs.”It is important to start building new hospitals and schools as soon as possible but it’s most urgent to save the lives of thousands of children who could then make use of these schools,” he said, warning that relief is still under-funded, many lives remain at risk, and severe weather conditions will soon set in. read more

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