Convenience store chain Casey's General Stores urged shareholders Thursday not to tender their stock until the company has reviewed an improved takeover bid by Quebec's Alimentation Couche-Tard.

"Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its financial and legal advisers, Casey's board will review the revised tender offer and make a recommendation to shareholders in due course," the Iowa-based company said in a news release.


Couche-Tard CEO Alain Bouchard says the offer is in the best interests of shareholders of both companies. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

Earlier Thursday, the Laval, Que.-based Couche-Tard announced it was increasing its hostile offer to $36.75 US in cash per Casey's share, valuing the 1,500-store chain at $1.9 billion including net debt.

That's up 75 cents per share, an improvement of about two per cent over Couche-Tard's initial bid this spring.

Couche-Tard CEO Alain Bouchard said the deal is in the best interests of shareholders of both companies.

"Our increased $36.75 per share cash offer is well above the value that Casey's, on its own and in any reasonable timeframe, could deliver to its shareholders and allows the shareholders of Casey's to receive a significant cash premium for their investment, " he said in a release.

Couche-Tard has been attempting a takeover of Casey's since April, but has been rejected by the U.S. company's board.

The Casey's board has insisted Couche-Tard's bid was too low and only 19 per cent of shares have been tendered.

Couche-Tard operates such well-known convenience store brands as Circle K in the United States and Mac's, Beckers and Couche-Tard in Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press