Truck stop chain TravelCenters of America is being purchased by investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners in a deal worth $731 million. Oak Hill, founded by Robert Bass in April 1999, said it hopes to close the deal in the third quarter.
After the sale, minority stakes will be kept by Freightliner Corp. and TA management.
TA, based in Westlake, Ohio, owns and operates 160 trucks stops in 40 states and employs 13,500 people.
It is currently owned by a group of institutional investors led by The Clipper Group as well as TA management and Freightliner Corp.
"TA is at the forefront of its industry, offering an extensive array on non-fuel products and services for the large trucking fleets and their drivers," Steven B. Gruber, Managing Partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners, L.P. said in a press statement. "Through its consolidation activities over the last five years, TA has developed the leading network of travel centers in the country. We look forward to working with Ed Kuhn and his team to continue this long-term growth strategy."
"With Oak Hill Capital Partners fully committed to TA's key strategic plan of network growth and industry leadership, we are confident that our expansion and market positioning activities will continue to benefit all of our stakeholders," said TravelCenters of America CEO and President, Ed Kuhn. "We have crafted a long-term strategy for sustained growth and profitability that requires a high-level of investment as well as a shared vision of TA's future by our equity partners. As we dramatically add travel centers to our existing nationwide network over the next five years, and continue to invest in technology and our employees, we will be firmly positioned to better serve all highway travelers," added Kuhn.
Jim Hebe, President and CEO of Freightliner said his company planned to hold onto the investment it made in TA last. "TA is the industry leader with great upside potential for expanding both its customer base and market share and we wish to participate in TA's growth," Hebe said.
TA is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb and had total revenues in 1999 of $1.5 billion.
Oak Hill Capital makes significant investments through acquisitions, build-ups, recapitalizations, restructurings, strategic joint ventures and the purchase of minority stakes across a wide range of industries. Investments to date include: the formation of MeriStar Investment Partners, L.P.; a significant minority stake in American Skiing Company; a strategic investment in Cincinnati Bell, Inc., now Broadwing, Inc.; the acquisition of Caribbean Restaurants Inc., the pending acquisition of GATX Logistics; and significant investments in newly formed Wide Open West Holdings, L.L.C., and Financial Engines, Inc.