Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

RoadChef extends motorway network through takeovers

Motorway services operator RoadChef has gobbled up two of its smaller rivals in an £80m deal.


Blue Boar, which ran three service areas, including Watford Gap on the M1, and Take A Break, which operated one site on the M5 at Strensham, Worcestershire, employed a total of 800 staff. Their combined operating profit was £6.1m on turnover of £64m last year.


Tim Ingram Hill, chairman and chief executive of RoadChef, said he had wanted to buy both Blue Boar and Take A Break for a long time. “With the size of the market they had, it was inevitable that at some stage they would feel exposed,” he added.


The acquisitions would also give RoadChef a stronger presence in the “volume part of the market” on key motorways, and in the eastern half of the country, said Ingram Hill.


The deal takes yearly turnover at RoadChef – itself acquired by Japanese securities firm Nikko Europe for £175m in May – past the £200m mark. It now runs 17 sites with three more under construction.


Blue Boar was originally a family-owned business but sold out to a management team in 1995. Take A Break was developed by Kenning Motor Group and sold to managers in 1994. RoadChef put in an unsuccessful bid at the time.


Blue Boar has a fourth site under development on the M6 near Stafford.

Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free