Irish service station operator Applegreen to buy majority stake in UK group

The sale will see Applegreen own just over 55% of British firm Welcome Break

Irish service station operator Applegreen to buy majority stake in UK group

File photo of an Applegreen petrol station on the M1 | Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

Irish motorway service area operator Applegreen is to buy a majority holding in British firm, Welcome Break.

The sale will see Applegreen acquire 55.02% of the UK motorway service operator for a cash consideration of around €361.8m.

It still needs shareholder approval, while trading in Applegreen's shares will be suspended on both the Euronext Dublin and London Stock Exchange until the Admission Document is published.

This is expected to happen in September.

Welcome Break is made up of 24 motorway service areas, two trunk road service areas and 29 hotels across 35 locations in the United Kingdom.

Its sites, which are open 24 hours a day, have around 85 million motorway customers per year.

Formed in 1959, Welcome Break employs over 5,000 people operating food and retail brands such as Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Waitrose, Harry Ramsden's and WH Smith.

Image: Facebook/Welcome Break

It also operates 22 Days Inn and seven Ramada hotels across Britain's motorway network.

The firm was named number 88 on 'The Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 2015' - the annual list of the UK's top 100 private companies with the biggest sales.

Applegreen has operations in the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the USA.

As of December 2017, the business operated 342 forecourt sites and employed around 4,900 people.

It also has a number of strategic partnerships with international brands including Burger King, Subway, Costa Coffee, Lavazza, Chopstix and Freshii.