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HMSHost agrees to sell its motorways business in the US to a consortium

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BETHESDA, Md., US – HMSHost, a subsidiary of Autogrill, S.p.A. announced today an agreement to sell its U.S. motorways business to a consortium that is majority owned and led by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, which includes Applegreen Limited, a leading motorway and food service area retailer and operator. The HMSHost U.S. motorways business includes branded food and beverage concepts such as Starbucks, Burger King and Pret A Manger, as well as convenience retail concessions, in more than 60 motorway service areas under long-term concession in Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia.

HMSHost’s New York Thruway contract, which is currently scheduled to expire later this year, is not part of the transaction.

“The sale of the U.S. motorways business will allow HMSHost to advance our airport food and beverage strategy and reshape our travel dining portfolio,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “The proceeds will help reduce our debt and allow us to invest in the regrowth of our business following the pandemic.”

Blackstone Infrastructure Partners is an active investor across energy, transportation, communications and water and waste infrastructure sectors. Blackstone Infrastructure’s approach to infrastructure investing is one that puts a focus on responsible stewardship and stakeholder engagement to create value not just for our investors but also for the communities we serve.

“This transaction underlines our commitment to identifying attractive transportation investment opportunities in the US and will be very complementary to our recent investment in Applegreen,” said Sebastien Sherman, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.

Applegreen Limited, which was recently acquired by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and B&J Holdings, operates more than 500 motorway and food service area locations in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Applegreen was recently awarded a 33-year concession to operate the 27 motorway service area sites located on the New York State Thruway. Its U.S. sites are concentrated in the North and Southeast and operate under the Shell, Exxon, Mobil and BP fuel brands. Along with its own foodservice offering, the company partners with Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, KFC, Dunkin, Costa Coffee and Pizza Hut amongst others. In addition to those offerings, Applegreen has introduced EV charging infrastructure across many of its sites.

The parties expect to close the transaction in summer of 2021 subject to receipt of necessary governmental approvals.