Applegreen to raise €70M from float

Applegreen has said it hopes to raise some €70 million from floating on the Irish and UK stock exchange.

Announcing its intention to make an initial public offering for 25 per cent of its business, the company said on Thursday the move would finance its long term growth strategy.

Applegreen is growing by some 20 sites per year. Its first Northern Ireland services opened in March, while in an interview with IF&CR’s sister publication Neighbourhood Retailer last week, chief operations officer Joe Barratt said the company was planning to open three further NI sites.

The company also reported revenues of €937.3m in the year to December 2014.

Applegreen CEO, Bob Etchingham
Applegreen CEO, Bob Etchingham

Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen, said: “We believe there are significant opportunities for expansion across the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“Applegreen is a leading retail petrol forecourt operator, with a proven track record of significant growth through the recession and has built a strong brand and consumer offer that is compelling, profitable and highly cash generative.”

The group said the move would benefit from recovering economic growth and increased disposable income in the Republic and UK, as well as favourable market trends as the oil majors exit the forecourt market.

Applegreen was co-founded by chief executive Bob Etchingham and chief operations officer Joe Barrett in 1992. Mr Etchingham owns 75 per cent of the firm, with Mr Barrett controlling the remaining 25 per cent.

The company has been valued at about €280m.

Among its documents to potential investors, the company said one-third of its gross margin was generated from food sales, and that busier lifestyles, longer working hours, and smaller households have moved retail towards fast convenience, coffee and food-to-go.

Although it admitted that against this, service station staples like sales of tobacco, newspapers and magazines had been declining.