DUBLIN -- Irish convenience-store retailer Applegreen PLC is in talks with up to three parties about opportunities to expand its fledgling presence in the U.S. market, the company’s CEO told The Irish Times.
The company has 155 sites in Ireland, 77 in the U.K. and 11 in the United States. Applegreen subsidiary Petrogas Group US Inc., Plainview, N.Y., operates the U.S. sites.
Applegreen is focused on securing leasehold premises in the United States, Bob Etchingham told the newspaper following the company’s annual general meeting. That strategy would minimize capital investment as it grows its U.S. portfolio.
He declined to identify the “two to three” parties the company is in talks with in the United States, said the report.
The company has added two U.S. locations since Dec. 31, 2016, that follow on a deal signed last year to lease nine sites from fuel distributor CrossAmerica Partners LP, Allentown, Pa. It also set up a franchise agreement with 7-Eleven Inc., Irving, Texas, in 2016.
“We have also opened two new PFS [petrol filling station] sites in the New England area of the [United States] and have made very good progress in generating further opportunities to grow in that region,” Daniel Kitchen, chairman of Applegreen, said in a statement ahead of the meeting. “We have added to our management team to cater for the growth planned in that region.”
He did not reveal the number or names of those additions.
“We don’t anticipate doing anything different in terms of our acquisitions in the U.S. that we have been doing up to this point; we’ll adopt a capital-light approach,” Etchingham told The Independent in March.
“We’ll be taking property on a leasehold basis from partners who want a large, professional, corporate operator like ourselves to run their business,” he said. “We’ll share some of the margin with those parties. That’s how we entered the market, and that’s how we see ourselves continuing for the moment. [But] we never rule out the prospects of an acquisition coming along that we consider to be attractive and that would allow us to add value.”
Applegreen did not respond to a CSP Daily News request for comments by posting time.