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Applegreen to run food and retail outlets on New York toll roads

Tue, 8th Sep 2020 11:15

(Sharecast News) - Applegreen confirmed on Tuesday that it is part of the Empire State Thruway Partners consortium, which has been awarded a conditional 33-year lease for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the 27 motorway service areas on the New York State Thruway.
The AIM-traded forecourt operator said the award remained subject to successful completion of a financial plan by the consortium members, and the subsequent approval of that plan by the New York State Thruway Authority and approval of the final agreement by the New York State Office of the State Comptroller and by the New York State Attorney-General.

It said the award was also subject to the consortium securing financing for the project, which was described as an ongoing process.

"The sites are located on the New York State Thruway, which is a 570-mile superhighway system crossing the State, running from the outskirts of New York City north to the state capital Albany, and continuing on to Buffalo in the west of the state," the Applegreen board explained.

"The thruway handles approximately 250 million trips annually, and accounts for an estimated eight billion miles of travel each year.

"It is the longest toll superhighway system in the United States."

Applegreen said the 27 service areas offered essential services on the route including fuel, quick-service food and beverage, retail stores, restrooms, electric vehicle facilities, truck fueling and other facilities, and operated 24 hours per day.

Total food, beverage and retail turnover for 2019 was around $118m (£90.39m).

Subject to the lease award completing, the consortium would invest $300m between the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2025 in redevelopment capital expenditure, which would be a mix of equity and project finance debt to be obtained by the consortium.

Applegreen said it would operate all 84 food and beverage outlets and a retail store on each site.

"Applegreen is expected to have a minority shareholding in the consortium, and its equity contribution for the transaction is still to be determined and will be agreed as part of completing the consortium's financial plan," the board said in its statement.

"It is not expected that there would be any equity contribution required from Applegreen before 2023.

"The terms of the financial plan and lease agreement are yet to be finalised and remain subject to final approval."

At 0800 BST, shares in Applegreen were up 3.17% at 325p.

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