Deal helps Applegreen clear British motorway barriers

Deal helps Applegreen clear British motorway barriers
Joe Barrett, chief operating officer, and Bob Etchingham, chief executive, ApplegreenPicture: Jason Clarke

Company says higher debt level is justified in return for ‘jewel in the crown’ motorway service area assets

Forecourt operator Applegreen took a giant step up in scale last week, announcing plans to take majority control of Welcome Break, one of Britain’s biggest operators of motorway service areas (MSAs).

Applegreen, which floated in 2015, has been trying to shift from a dependence on lower-margin fuel sales to focus on bigger service areas with a wider range of higher-margin food and other retail offerings.

While it has opened a number of these in the...

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