WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America Inc. is still recommending shareholders move forward with proposed plans to merge with BP Products North America Inc., after exploring an alternate proposal by ARKO Corp.
In early April, the Westlake-based operator of highway travel stops set a special shareholders meeting on May 10 for shareholders to approve a $1.3 billion acquisition of the company by BP.
The BP deal,which calls for the London-based oil and gas company to purchase all of TravelCenters' outstanding common stock for $86 per share in cash, was announced in February. In March, Richmond, Va.-based convenience store operator and fuel wholesaler ARKO made a rival bid of $92 per share.
TravelCenters said April 24 it had done due diligence on the ARKO proposal, after receiving a contractual waiver from BP. Following that, TravelCenters' board has "reaffirmed that ARKO's proposal is neither a superior proposal nor could it reasonably be expected to lead to a superior proposal."
ARKO planned to finance its proposed $2.4 billion TravelCenters purchase with "an amalgamation of uncommitted funding sources, including by entering into unnegotiated new and expanded credit facilities, entering into unnegotiated sale and leaseback transactions at unrealistic high real estate valuations and using unavailable TA cash," TravelCenters said.
If shareholders approve the deal with BP, the acquisition is expected to close May 15.
TravelCenters' shares, which closed April 21 at $88.02, slipped 1.5% to $86.70 at around noon on April 24.