National truckstop chain TravelCenters of America (TA) is buying out rival Petro Stopping Centers for a reported $700 million. The move will add Petro's 69 locations and 5,500 employees in 33 states to TA's 163 sites and 11,000 employees in 40 states, creating a combined network of over 230 locations in 41 states
The Petro and the TA brands will be operated separately after the transaction closes; the combined company will be operated by TA's management team out of Westlake, OH.
The buyout itself is complex. Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) acquired TA last September for $1.9 billion, and then spun it off as a separate, publicly traded company in January, with TA leasing 146 of its truckstops from HPT while directly owning and operating just two of its locations. An additional 13 sites are owned by TA franchisees, with three more owned by third parties other than HPT.
As a result of this complicated corporate structure, HPT is actually buying 40 of Petro's truckstops for $630 million and leasing them to TA. TA itself is paying $70 million for all other Petro assets, including two fully owned facilities, one partially owned center, two leased centers operated by Petro, Petro's franchisee business, related businesses, land sites acquired for future development of new travel centers, inventory and other working capital.
The deal also includes buying out Volvo Trucks North America's 28.68% interest in Petro for $46.3 million, along with a smaller stake owned by ExxonMobil.
According to Petro, its loyalty program contracts will remain in place.