Caltex will not be acquired by fuel retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard, at least in the short term, after talks about an $8.8 billion deal were put on ice.

Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard on Monday has decided the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic means is too great to go ahead with any purchase.

Alimentation Couche-Tard made an unsolicited approach late last year, and the two groups have been talking since.

It upped its initial $8.6 billion buyout proposal to $8.8 billion in February.

Management could resume talks in acquiring Caltex once there was more clarity in the economic outlook, the latter said in a statement.

Caltex officials in March ruled out a bid by Britain’s Euro Garages.

Caltex Australia was created from a merger of Caltex and Ampol in 1995.