the cap on share ownership is not uncommon at all. I don't like the RMR arrangement either but is it not any different than News Corp, Facebook, Google who control with A & B shares? The investors who have the most invested, who took the initial risk, can be counted on to protect their own interests. So long as TA can produce profits, keep growing by buying travel centers at fire sale prices, at these price levels I'll continue to sit and wait. Sooner or later the value will be "unlocked" whether by HPT selling, or working with a PE firm. And the good news is that TA wont go out of business...HPT will keep them going no matter what to those rents keep rolling in. And those stock options TA's officers have? They will want TA shares to rise yo enrich themselves no matter what-count on it.
The point is that HPT will decide when its time to unlock value - not the market. And HPT may have no economic incentive to unlock such value. In any event, for any purchasers to have a serious interest in TA, the sale of the company would likely require the leased real estate to be purchase as well. Package deal. PE firm will be the most likely avenue at this point.