RoadChef, Britain's third-largest motorway services chain, has been sold by its Japanese private equity owner in a deal valuing the group at £425m.
Nikko Principal Investments, which had owned RoadChef since 1998, and partner Vision Capital have sold the chain to Israeli private equity group Delek Real Estate.
The price tag of £375m plus debt (taking it to £425m in total) is a handsome return on the £175m Nikko paid for the group, which now has 29 service stations as well as 15 hotels and employs some 2,000 people.
Vision Capital, a London-based investment firm, has been a minority investor in the company since 2004.
Delek is being coy about its immediate intentions for the chain, but the view in both the City and the trade is that it is thought unlikely it will rush into making any radical changes to a company that reported sales last year, excluding fuel, of £132m.
Under chief executive Martin Grant, who will be staying at the helm at least for the time being, is has also expanded rapidly, notably through the acquisition of the Blue Boar and Take a Break chains.
By Nic Paton
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