Once the required government authorizations have been obtained, through the subsidiary HMSHost Corporation, Autogrill concluded the divestiture of its US highway operations. These, according to an official statement from the company, will go to a consortium controlled and led by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, which includes Applegreen Limited and B&J Holdings.
“The transaction was closed under the terms and conditions previously disclosed on March 31, 2021”, continues the Autogrill press release. “The sale of the US highway business is in line with the medium-term strategy and ambitions already disclosed to the market on June 8, 2021. The current FY2021 guidance, as well as the FY 2024 targets, already include the impacts of this transaction. “.
Therefore, what was announced by Autogrill during last April and which had led the group to suffer heavy losses on the stock market takes place: a financial transaction that closed on schedule at the cost of 375 million dollars. HmsHost’s highway business includes convenience retail concessions of 60 service areas in the United States, food beverage concessions of various brands (such as Pret, Burger King and Starbucks). “The divestiture of the US highway business”, the company explained in April, “follows the sale of the Canadian motorway business which took place two years ago and is in line with the strategic objectives of the Autogrill Group communicated during the Capital Markets Day of June 2019 which envisage the consolidation and strengthening of the international leadership position and the possibility of seizing any market opportunities “. The stated aim of the group was that of “consolidate and strengthen its international leadership position and provide itself with sufficient financial flexibility to be able to exploit the potential opportunities offered by the current market context and its developments in the coming years”.
In light of the impacts of the sale, it was necessary to revise the 2021 guidance and the objectives for 2024. Revenues decreased to 2.3-2.7 billion euros (down from the previous indication of 2.4-2 , 8 billion), while the home flow remains unchanged. The 2024 targets, on the other hand, went from the planned 4.7 billion to 4.5 billion (Capex on revenues from +5% / + 5.6% to +4.8% / + 5.4% and Free cash flow from 120- 150 million to 130-160 million).