Applegreen raises €175m for Welcome Break deal

Petrol forecourt giant Applegreen, which has operations in the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the US, has provisionally raised €175m (£156m) to support its acquisition of a majority stake in Welcome Break.

The move for one of the best known motorway service station operators in the UK was first revealed at the start of August. Applegreen will raise the money through placing more than 28.7million shares on the London Stock Exchange when trading starts on 25 October 2018.

The company had originally outlined plans to raise a minimum of €100m to help fund the acquisition. Applegreen is acquiring a majority holding in Welcome Break, which has a portfolio of 24 motorway service areas, two trunk road service Areas and 29 hotels across 35 locations in the UK. Its sites attract about 85 million motorway customers per annum.

As part of a reverse takeover, an agreement is in place with NIBC European Infrastructure Fund I CV for Applegreen to acquire its entire 55.02 per cent holding in Welcome Break for about €361.8m.

Formed in 1959, Welcome Break has more than 55 years' experience in the sector and in excess of 5,000 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