Applegreen ups stake in motorway giant Welcome Break
Irish forecourt retailer Applegreen intends to boost its stake in UK motorway service operator Welcome Break to about 70% within about six years, it has emerged. And Applegreen, which has six sites in Northern Ireland, will likely ultimately own it entirely, after sealing a transformational €440m (£392m) deal that will see it initially holding slightly more than 50% of the business.
Applegreen has agreed to buy a 55.02% stake in Welcome Break - which has a portfolio of 24 motorway service stations, two trunk road service areas, and 29 travel hotels under the Ramada and Days Inn brands. They serve 85 million customers a year.
The company is buying the Welcome Break stake from a fund controlled by a small Dutch bank, NIBC. The stake being acquired represents the entire holding in Welcome Break owned by the NIBC fund. The other shareholder in Welcome Break is a London-based investment firm Arjun Infrastructure Partners. Applegreen has three motorway service areas here, and three smaller petrol stations.