Petrogas to float Applegreen business

Irish fuel group targeting an IPO of its service station business for June

Applegreen has 98 forecourts in the State, including 12 dealers and eight motorway stations

Applegreen has 98 forecourts in the State, including 12 dealers and eight motorway stations

 

Irish fuel group Petrogas is targeting an initial public offering of its Applegreen service station business for June, The Irish Times has learned.

It is understood that the company is well advanced in producing a prospectus for a stock market flotation and has added UK investment group Shore Capital to its roster of advisers, which already includes Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin.

The company has spent the past few months sounding out potential investors and market participants about the move.

The timing of an IPO will ultimately depend on market conditions and the board of the company has yet to definitively press the button on a flotation.

However, the company, which is owned by Irish businessmen Bob Etchingham and Joe Barrett, is eyeing a June listing in Dublin and London.

Sources have indicated that the company could raise between €50 million and €100 million.

No comment was available from Applegreen yesterday.

International expansion

Set up in 1992, Applegreen has 98 forecourts in the Republic, including 12 dealers and eight motorway stations, most of them operated under contract for the National Roads Authority.

It has been shortlisted for a State contract to operate three additional stations under 25-year licences. These will be at Gorey, Co Wexford, Kilcullen, Co Kildare and Athlone, Co Westmeath with an announcement expected shortly.

Applegreen also recently opened a motorway service station in the North, one of four that it has planned for the region at a cost of £25 million. These sites will be managed by its Irish business.

It also operates as a franchisee of Burger King, Costa Coffee and Subway.

Price disrupter

MaxolTopaz

Latest accounts for Petrogas Group Ltd show it made a pre-tax profit of just under €14 million on turnover of €394 million in 2013.

Recently filed accounts for Applegreen Service Areas Ltd, which operates the company’s motorway stations, show it made a pre-tax profit of €1.7 million from turnover of €86.6 million. The company is thought to be trading well at present.

Its big expansion opportunity is thought to be in Britain, where there are about 8,500 forecourts in the market.

Applegreen has operated there since 2008, gaining traction in the past three years. It currently has 56 stations there and believes there is an opportunity to add up to 20 additional sites a year.