55.02% holding for an estimated €361.8 million is set to be acquired
Applegreen, a major fuel retailer with operations in Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States, has announced that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 55.02% holding in Welcome Break, the leading UK Motorway Service Area Operator, for a cash consideration of approximately €361.8 million.
The Transaction is anticipated to significantly broaden Applegreen's Motorway Service Area network. It will fulfill a strategic objective since IPO of achieving critical mass in the large and stable UK market while deepening the Group's exposure to non-fuel food and beverage revenue. The Transaction will be financed by a new debt facility of €300 million and a proposed equity fundraising of a minimum of €100 million (the "Equity Fundraise").
Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen commented that Welcome Break is a fantastic business.“It has led the way in providing the very best food and beverage facilities on the UK motorways. We were attracted to Welcome Break because of the strength of its franchise, the excellent management team and the committed staff at each of its 35 locations. We look forward to continuing to grow the Welcome Break business and to offering the c. 85 million customers who visit Welcome Break each year the very best experience on UK motorways."
Darren Kyte, Managing Director of NIBC Infrastructure Partners and Chairman of Welcome Break Group said, "This is a transformational transaction in the UK MSA sector, and I am sure that the combination of the Applegreen Service Area operations in the UK with those of Welcome Break, and combined management capabilities will help build further upon the consistent and strong earnings growth seen by both businesses over the past decade." PWKD03082018
Editors Note: This is a very interesting move for the MSA market in England. Applegreen have developed a number of very successful motorway service area sites in Ireland which have become "destination" sites. However Welcome Break in England is a very different established network with much larger demographic and throughput of vehicles. Appears to be a very good strategic move and will be watched with great interest.
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