Two major shareholder advisory firm has recommended that The Pantry shareholders approve the Cary-based company's sale to Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Institutional Shareholder Services said the approval of the deal was warranted "in light of the reasonable premium, the certainty of value inherent in the cash nature of the consideration, and the board's rationale regarding the standalone challenges represented by the company's current debt profile, capital needs, and increased sector competitiveness."
Glass Lewis & Co. also issued a report earlier this week saying Pantry shareholders should support the buy-out.
The Pantry operates 1,509 stores in 13 states in the Southeast, primarily under the Kangaroo Express brand. Couche-Tard, has 6,303 convenience stores in North America, including 4,851 stores that sell gasoline. Most of its U.S. stores operate under the Circle K brand.
The Pantry has scheduled a shareholders meeting for March 10 in Cary to vote on its proposed merger with Couche-Tard, a Canadian convenience store chain.
If shareholders approve the deal, the two companies expect to complete the merger shortly after the vote. Couche-Tard reached a deal in December to acquire The Pantry for $860 million, or $36.75 per share.
The price was a 27 percent premium over where the company's stock was trading before news reports of a possible sale emerged.