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Moto owners plot sale of motorway services giant

The owners of Moto, one of Britain’s biggest operators of motorway service stations, are preparing to put the company up for sale for more than £2bn.

Sky News understands that CVC Capital Partners and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which have jointly owned Moto since 2015, have hired Rothschild to oversee an auction of the company.

City sources said a process was likely to get underway this year.

One added that Moto could be worth as much as £3bn, depending on the level of competition among prospective buyers.

Moto, which describes itself as the UK’s leading motorway service area operator, trades from scores of sites across Britain.

It has electric vehicle charging partnerships with companies including Elon Musk’s Tesla, while its catering partners include KFC and Pret a Manger.

The company’s two shareholders became joint owners in 2015, when CVC acquired a 40% stake.

Its financial performance has recovered since the depths of the pandemic, with accounts for the 52 weeks ending 28 December, 2022, showing a 34% rise in turnover to £1.06bn.

During that financial year, it raised £835m of long-term debt to strengthen its balance sheet.

CVC, which recently made its stock market debut in Amsterdam, declined to comment.