Applegreen acquires Welcome Break for £322m

Applegreen, a major petrol forecourt retailer with operations in the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the UD, has entered into contracts to acquire a majority holding in Welcome Break for €361.8m (£322m).

The Welcome Break portfolio consists of 24 Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), two Trunk Road Service Areas (TRSAs) and 29 hotels across 35 locations across the UK.

These sites are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and attract around 85m motorway customers per annum.

Formed in 1959, Welcome Break has over 55 years' experience in the sector and 5,000 plus employees operating food and retail brands such as Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Waitrose, Harry Ramsden's and WH Smith. Welcome Break also operates 22 Days Inn and seven Ramada hotels across the UK motorway network.

Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen, said, '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.'