Applegreen Expands Further Into The UK With Acquisition of Welcome Break

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Applegreen plc has furthered its expansion into the UK with the acquisition of Welcome Break, the UK motorway service and hotel chain in a deal worth €361.8M.

About Applegreen

Established in 1992, Applegreen is a major petrol forecourt retailer, operating in 342 sites across Ireland, the UK and the USA, employing c. 4,900 people, and listed on both the AIM and ESM in 2015.

The Company has three different site categories: Motorway Service Areas (“MSAs”), Petrol Filling Stations and Dealers, as well as having its own food offering through the Bakewell and aCafe brands.

The Acquisition

On 2nd August 2018 Applegreen Plc announced that it had entered into contracts with NIBC European Infrastructure Fund I C.V. to acquire a majority holding of 55.02% in Welcome Break. This constitutes a reverse takeover of the Company for a cash consideration of approximately €361.8M.

Welcome Break has a portfolio of 24 motorway service areas, 2 trunk road service areas and 29 hotels across 35 locations within the UK. Welcome Break is a cash generative business, with a well-diversified and well invested portfolio, whose sites attract c.85 million motorway customers a year.

Welcome Break has over 5000 employees and 55 years’ experience of the sector, and its sites are open 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. It also operates 22 Days Inn and 7 Ramada hotels across the UK motorway network.

Transforming Applegreen's UK Business

The acquisition will help transform Applegreen's business in the UK, allowing greater exposure to MSAs and thereby access to strategic sites with high barriers to entry for competitors. It will also help diversify revenues and enhance cashflows.

Ulster Bank supported the company's expansion. It was Mandated Lead Arranger in the €300M secured revolving credit and term loan facilities which underpinned the Company’s acquisition of 50.01% of Welcome Break.

Glenn Shanley, Head of Large Corporates Ulster Bank commented, "Ulster Bank are proud of our long term relationship with Applegreen plc and are very pleased to support Applegreen plc in their transformational acquisition of Welcome Break".

 

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