£440m funding package puts welcome break on the road to growth



Motorway service station operator Welcome Break has secured a £440million funding package from a banking syndicate jointly-led by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to enable further investment in its hotel and retail offering.

Welcome Break is the second largest motorway service station operator in the UK, managing 27 sites across the UK, offering food, drink and retail experiences for customers and motorists on-the-go. The brand partners with companies such as Burger King, WHSmith, Waitrose, Starbucks, Pret and, healthy food chain, Tossed.

The funding from Lloyds Bank will be used to refinance debt, and will facilitate further investment in the portfolio. The company intends to extend and rebrand a number of its Days Inn hotels to the Ramada brand, introduce new restaurant and coffee brands, as well as  creating more drive-through facilities at its service stations.

The business is headquartered in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, has an annual turnover of £648million and employs 5,500 members of staff. Welcome Break currently operates 27 sites across the UK motorway network.

Rod McKie, Chief Executive of Welcome Break, said: “The funding package provided by Lloyds Bank, as part of a wider banking syndicate, gives us a solid platform to further grow our business.

“We’re making significant investments to improve and enhance the facilities across the Welcome Break portfolio, which includes expanding our hotel offer and bringing new food brands to our service stations across the country.”

Steve Lyon, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Welcome Break is a household name and a brand that is trusted by UK motorists. In fact, it attracts 85million customers every year.

“We are committed to supporting ambitious mid-sized firms as they realise their growth ambitions and this package allows Welcome Break to focus on investing for the future. Providing tailored funding packages like this is part of our plan to help Britain prosper by helping firms maximise the growth opportunities available to them.”