31 October 2012
Stagecoach Group plc
Acquisition of Wigan bus operations from First Manchester Limited
Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") is pleased to announce that Greater Manchester Buses East Limited, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Stagecoach, has agreed to acquire the Wigan bus business and assets from First Manchester Limited ("First") for a consideration of £12 million.
The business being acquired operates commercial bus services and a small number of school contracts, employing approximately 300 people.
In the 12 months to 31 March 2012, the business had revenues of £13.2 million, EBITDA of £2.2 million and an operating profit of £1.5 million.
The purchase includes the owned Locket Road depot in Wigan, as well as some leased premises in Wigan bus station, staff facilities and approximately 120 vehicles. Around 20 of the vehicles are owned by Transport for Greater Manchester, mostly as part of school contract operations.
The acquisition will allow Stagecoach to expand its successful bus operations in the Greater Manchester region, where it already operates around 630 buses and employs 1,850 staff.
The Wigan operations will become part of Stagecoach Manchester, which carries nearly 100 million passengers a year and is led by Managing Director Chris Bowles.
Staff will transfer to Stagecoach's Greater Manchester Buses East Limited business under TUPE arrangements.
Stagecoach expects the acquisition to be completed in early December 2012.
Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "We have a strong track-record of attracting more people to bus travel and these new operations will expand our successful high-quality operations in other parts of Greater Manchester.
"We will continue to focus on providing customers with the best value fares of any major bus operator in the UK, investing in our networks and delivering punctual and reliable services.
"Our people are central to our growth plans and we look forward to welcoming our new employees to the company."
Investors and analysts
Martin Griffiths, Finance Director
Ross Paterson, Director of Finance & Company Secretary
Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications