doesn't matter how many centers they own if TA is at the mercy of HPT. Put yourself in HPT's shoes, how will you set rents? If I were in their shoes I will set rents as high as TA can bear without sinking TA to benefit HPT stock as HPT trades at a much higher price to earnings multiple. Earnings on the books of HPT will realize better value than earnings on TA's books. TA has to be conflict free and free to walk from leased space for TA shareholders to benefit. Why pour money into TA that will eventually be extracted by HPT? Why not sell TA and buy HPT instead? TA is just a special purpose vehicle for HPT.
In my opinion, HPT needs a very successful TA. They need to make sure that TA can always pay the rental payments. Plus they own about 9% of TA. They reward management with options, so the please management they need TA stock to rise in price. My expectations is that TA will rise in price because a company can't earn $1 to $1.50 over the next three years and sell at $4.80. If the stock price doesn't rise, HPT will but the company to get the cash.
I own both HPT and TA because I think TA offers greater price appreciation than HPT but HPT pays an 8% dividend. This way I get the best of both worlds.
TA owns about 20 centers now and continues adding. HPT has no ownership in any of these properties.
TA's lease by the way with HPT runs to year 2020+...locked in, so HPT cant wake up in the morning and just arbitrarily change anything.