We had a feeling the battle between Alimentation Couche-Tard and its hostile target, fellow convenience store operator Casey’s General Stores, was going to get nasty, but we didn’t think it was going to get this nasty this quickly. To wit: On Friday, Casey’s and its lawyers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore filed a blistering lawsuit against Couche-Tard, saying the Canadian owner of the Circle K chain executed a so-called “pump and dump” scheme with Casey’s stock designed to make millions in profits while at the same time torpedoing Casey’s share price at the exact moment Couche-Tard made its offer for Casey’s public.

The background: On April 9, Couche-Tard, represented by Dewey & LeBoeuf, made public a $1.9 billion bid for Casey’s that amounted to an offer of $36 per Casey’s share, according to our prior reporting. Casey’s rejected the deal, saying it was a low-ball offer. Couche-Tard went hostile with a tender offer, which Casey’s last week urged its shareholders to reject.

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