Competition Bureau takes action to resolve competition issues with the sale of Husky brand gas stations in southern Ontario and western Canada
August 25, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached agreements with Parkland Corporation (Parkland) and Federated Cooperatives Limited (FCL), respectively, related to their proposed acquisition of Husky retail gas stations.
The agreements will help protect consumers from paying higher gas prices as a result of eliminating the Husky stations as a competitor in 9 regions in southern Ontario and western Canada.
In November 2021, both Parkland and FCL entered into separate purchase agreements to acquire 337 Husky stations located in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. After a thorough review, the Bureau concluded that the separate proposed transactions are likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of fuel to consumers in the following local markets:
- Gimli, Manitoba;
- Minnedosa, Manitoba;
- Portage La Prairie, Manitoba;
- Dauphin, Manitoba;
- Melfort, Saskatchewan;
- North Battleford, Saskatchewan;
- Estevan, Saskatchewan;
- Foam Lake, Saskatchewan; and
- Hamilton, Ontario.
To resolve the Bureau’s concerns, both Parkland and FCL signed separate consent agreements with the Commissioner of Competition, whereby:
- Parkland will sell 6 retail gas stations in Hamilton, Ontario, and FCL will sell the Husky station in Gimli, Manitoba to a buyer or buyers to be approved by the Commissioner.
- The Husky stations in Portage La Prairie and Dauphin, Manitoba, as well as Estevan, Saskatchewan, will be transferred to Parkland instead of FCL.
- The Husky dealer contracts in Foam Lake, North Battleford and Melfort, Saskatchewan, as well as Minnedosa, Manitoba, will be transferred to Parkland instead of FCL.
The Commissioner is satisfied that these agreements address the competition issues likely to result from the proposed transaction.
The complete agreements are available on the Competition Tribunal’s website.
The Bureau will publish a comprehensive position statement summarizing the analysis and findings from its review in the coming days.
“Competition in the retail gas sector is an area of significant concern for Canadians. These agreements will preserve competition in southern Ontario and western Canada and protect consumers from paying higher prices at the pumps. We remain vigilant and will continue to take action to address competition concerns in this important sector of the Canadian economy.”
Commissioner of Competition
The Husky brand of retail gas stations was acquired by Cenovus Energy in early 2021. Cenovus is selling 337 of its Husky retail gas stations and dealer contracts to Parkland and FCL. Cenovus will retain all Husky commercial, travel center, and bulk plant operations.
Parkland, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, provides fuel and petroleum products to communities across Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It operates many recognizable retail gasoline brands such as Ultramar, Pioneer and Chevron.
Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, FCL is a co-operative owned by more than 160 independent local co-operatives across western Canada. It operates in the agriculture, food, energy, and building sectors, and supports a network of retail gas stations in communities throughout western Canada.
Consent agreements generally contain remedial measures that the Commissioner has determined are appropriate to address a proposed transaction’s likely anti-competitive effects. A consent agreement has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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