WESTLAKE, Ohio (Sept. 26, 2006) — TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA), a network of 162 full-service travel centers in North America, has agreed to be purchased by an investment firm for $1.9 billion, but the transaction is not expected to affect a recent tire supply agreement the company signed with Bridgestone/Firestone.
The buyer, Hospitality Properties Trust, is a real estate investment trust that owns 310 hotels in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
TravelCenters said it expects the deal to close in early 2007. The firm has arranged interim financing from Merrill Lynch.
The company said its business would continue as usual.
“We are pleased to announce the plan for this new structure, as we believe it will provide TA with the opportunity and resources to provide enhanced services at expanded locations to all our customers,” said Tim Doane, president and CEO of TravelCenters.
“As was the case with previous ownership transitions, we expect business as usual at all TA TravelCenters locations,” he said. “As we expand and enhance our services, we will continue to offer fleets, owner-operators and motorists the highest-quality travel center services available.”
In June Bridgestone/Firestone announced it had extended its pact for TravelCenters to sell Bridgestone- and Firestone-brand truck tires as well as Oncor retreads at TA locations. At the time, BFS said TravelCenters was “vital” to its distribution network and growth strategy.
“TA and Bridgestone have had a very strong relationship for many years,” said Art Campagnoni, vice president of commercial sales for BFS. “The recent changes in their ownership will provide their management team the tools to grow their organization in a way that will be consistent with their long term vision and will not impact our current contract.”