7 November 2012
Stagecoach Group plc
Acquisition of bus operations in North Manchester
Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") is pleased to announce that Greater Manchester Buses South Ltd, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Stagecoach, has agreed to acquire the bus business and assets of private operator Bluebird for a consideration of £2.0 million.
The business being acquired, which was founded in 1988, operates commercial and supported bus services in North Manchester, employing approximately 80 people.
In the 12 months to 31 January 2012, the business had revenues of £4.0 million, EBITDA of around £480,000 and an operating profit of around £330,000.
The purchase includes the leased depot site at Greengate in Middleton, as well as approximately 40 vehicles.
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 Bluebird 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 South Ltd business under TUPE arrangements.
The agreement commits Stagecoach to acquire the business only if clearance is given by the Office of Fair Trading. If approved, Stagecoach expects the acquisition to be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "This is a good fit with our existing successful bus network in Greater Manchester. We believe there is scope to develop the business and attract more customers to bus travel through our good value fares and high quality of service."
Investors and analysts
Martin Griffiths, Finance Director 01738 442111
Ross Paterson, Director of Finance & Company Secretary 01738 442111
Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications 07764 774680