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Fri 18th Jan 2013 - Breaking News - Welcome Break completes £350 refinance
Welcome Break completes £350 refinance: Welcome Break, the UK motorway service area operator, has completed a £350m refinancing of its debt facilities. The refinancing was concluded via £221m of senior debt provided by eight lenders and £130m of privately placed mezzanine debt. This refinancing will extend Welcome Break’s debt maturity profile to a pro forma average maturity of 5.5 years. Chief executive officer Rod McKie said: “The refinancing provides a great platform for the business and its leading brands to continue to grow and provide further investment. Indeed, Welcome Break has now become the biggest licensee of Starbucks stores in Europe, numbering some 50 sites with another tranche currently being developed, including further drive thru options. Waitrose has also been a great success following the roll out of 17 stores to date, with a number of new stores planned this year to further the convenience offer. As a result of this investment the Welcome Break estate continues to grow its top line sales and bottom line profit, thus complementing its superior site portfolio operating on the main volume motorways in the UK and situated on major hubs and connections.” Welcome Break chairman and managing partner of NIBC Infrastructure Partners Darren Kyte said: “This successful refinancing in challenging banking markets is a tribute to the robust underlying performance of the business in the tough trading environment experienced in the last few years, the quality of the management team, and the active involvement of shareholders who remain fully committed to the business for the long term.” Welcome Break has around 80 million customers per annum and generates revenue in excess of £600m per annum. It employs 4,200 people and operates across 29 sites, of which 24 are motorway service areas located throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Its brand portfolio consists of Waitrose, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, WH Smith, Days Inn, Shell, BP and Papa John’s Pizza - the latter has just completed a further ten-site roll out programme at Welcome Break sites. Another seven are planned this year along with a further expansion of the Krispy Kreme doughnuts offering.

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