TravelCenters of America announced Thursday that BP agreed to buy it for $1.3 billion, marking one of the largest quick-service purchases since the pandemic began.
Per the transaction, BP will acquire all of TravelCenters' outstanding stock for $86 per share. The sales price is an 84 percent premium to the company's average trading price of the 30 days ending February 15.
“Today’s announcement that BP is acquiring TA for $86 per share is a result of the successful implementation of our turnaround and strategic plans," TravelCenters CEO Jonathan Pertchik said in a statement. "We have improved our core travel center business, expanded our network, launched eTA to prepare for the future of alternative fuels and improved our operating and financial results, none of which we could have accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our employees at every level.”
TravelCenters is the country's largest publicly traded travel center network, with 281 locations in 44 states and more than 18,000 employees. The company oversees 600-plus casual-dining and quick-service restaurants across the country. It operates nontraditional locations for some of the biggest fast-food chains in the U.S., including KFC, Subway, Wendy's, Starbucks, Dunkin', Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr., Dairy Queen, Burger King, and Arby's. Some full-service partnerships include Bob Evans, IHOP, and Black Bear Diner.
It's the most expensive acquisition involving quick-service restaurants since RBI bought Firehouse Subs for $1 billion in 2021.
The purchase comes after implementation of a turnaround plan and multiple quarters of improved operating performance. In Q3, TravelCenters experienced a 67 percent increase in net income and a 36 percent lift in adjusted EBITDA. The restaurant segment earned $87.49 million, 9.6 percent growth from 2021. The company has focused on site refreshes, technology initiatives, and network expansion, which included the purchase of five travel centers and two truck service facilities as of November.
Because of the better performance, TravelCenters received unsolicited M&A interest.
"In response, TA’s Board hired financial and legal advisors as part of a formal process to consider a potential sale of the Company," the group said in a statement. "This process ultimately included competitive rounds of bidding from potential buyers that resulted in the transaction announced [Thursday]."
The transaction was unanimously approved by TravelCenters' board. Citigroup acted as exclusive financial advisor to TravelCenters and Ropes & Gray as the legal advisor in connection with the transaction.
BP said convenience is one of its five strategic transition growth engines.
“This is bp’s strategy in action," BP CEO Bernard Looney said in a statement. "We are doing exactly what we said we would, leaning into our transition growth engines. This deal will grow our convenience and mobility footprint across the US and grow earnings with attractive returns. Over time, it will allow us to advance four of our five strategic transition growth engines. By enabling growth in EV charging, biofuels and RNG and later hydrogen, we can help our customers decarbonize their fleets. It’s a compelling combination.”