TravelCenters of America on Wednesday said its shareholders had overwhelmingly approved a sale of the company to BP Plc for $86/share, turning aside a more lucrative offer from convenience store operator ARKO Corp.

TA said 93% of votes cast Wednesday were in favor of the sale, with the votes representing 72% of the outstanding shares.

The deal is expected to close on Monday.

TA operates 281 sites in 44 states under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands.

The purchase will expand BP's footprint and increase its competitiveness in the volatile U.S. diesel market against other huge chains such as Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Pilot Flying J.

The shareholder approval comes after more than a month of efforts by ARKO to convince TA leaders and shareholders to reject BP's offer in favor of the company's $92/share bid.

ARKO said its offer topped BP's $1.3 billion purchase price by about $100 million.

BP's offer represented an 84% premium to TA's average trading price over the 30 days leading up to the company's Feb. 15 sales announcement.

TA officials said BP's bid was the superior offer because BP did not need to obtain financing to complete the purchase.

TA's board also said ARKO's sub-investment grade credit rating was unacceptable to Service Properties Trust, which leases TA most of its properties, and The RMR Group, which owns 4.1% of TA stock.

ARKO did not respond to a request for comment on the vote by the time of publication.

Speaking on an earnings call Tuesday, ARKO officials said that while TA officials rejected their purchase offer, the company plans to continue its plans to expand through acquisitions.

CEO Arie Kotler said the offer to purchase TA was met with "fear and resistance" from TA officials instead of transparency.

TA stock, which had hit a high of $88.55/share in the days following the sale announcement, was trading at $86/share Wednesday at about 2:15 p.m. ARKO, which had seen shares tumble nearly 9% Tuesday following the release of earnings information, was down an additional 34cts to $7.02/share Wednesday afternoon.


This content was created by Oil Price Information Service, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. OPIS is run independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


--Reporting by Steve Cronin,; Editing by Jeff Barber,


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 10, 2023 15:11 ET (19:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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