Applegreen to locate US headquarters in New Jersey
Irish forecourt company Applegreen has chosen New Jersey as the new location for its US headquarters, investing $125 million and creating 100 new jobs.
The news was announced by New Jersey governor Phil Murphy during a three-day visit to Ireland which included a toast and reception at the Jameson whiskey distillery.
The governor said that the relocation to Glen Rock will immediately come with an investment of $125 million and create 100 new jobs, with another 800 jobs projected to come in future years.
“I cannot wait to see Applegreen settle into its new American home in New Jersey,” Murphy said. “The lease has already been signed and we’re ready to roll out the welcome mat.”
Applegreen already operates 21 stations in New Jersey, all of which are soon to be redeveloped, and the company has hundreds more around the United States.
Chief executive of Applegreen Bob Etchingham said the company would create a further 800 jobs in the redevelopment of its 21 highway plazas in New Jersey over the coming years as it fits them with the latest technologies, with a particular focus on electric vehicle charging.
He said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had speeded up the transition to EVs.
Mr Etchingham added that there is pent up demand there and what is holding sales back is that EV production capacity is being impacted by supply chain constraints.
Applegreen is the largest highway service provider in the US, with 250 sites across 18 states. It has been operating there since 2014, with a focus on highway located plazas where it sells fuel, food and other convenience retail goods.
In March of last year the business was taken private by Mr Etchingham and co-founder Joe Barrett, backed by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.
Mr Etchingham said the investment in the US does not signal a shift in strategy for the company, which is Irish-headquartered with all the key decisions made here.
He said the US is behind Europe in terms of EV charging infrastructure.
“But the US is not a country, it is a continent, and if you look at places like California, if you look at places like the north east of the US, they are not that far behind Europe,” he said.
“And the sort of strong growth that we are seeing in the UK especially and in Ireland, you are going to see that happening in the north east of the US over the next few years,” he said.
“We are positioning ourselves really to capture those people who are on a journey, because most of our locations are on inter-urban routes, heavily trafficked routes and those people will need to charge and need to charge more frequently than they would do if they were fuelling up with fossil fuel,” he added.
Applegreen employs about 15,000 people, with around 6,000 in the UK, a similar number in the US and the balance of around 3,000 here.
Gov Murphy added that he was specifically proud to have worked with Applegreen given the company’s focus on green energy and electrical vehicle infrastructure.
“It’s not just any company,” he said. “It’s Irish, and it’s completely consistent with the things that we care about.”
According to Wesley Mathews, the CEO of the privately funded economic development organization Choose NJ, the deal with Applegreen has been three years in the making.