Stagecoach expands NW bus network
Stagecoach Group subsidiary Glenvale Transport has paid £4.5m for First Group bus services in Chester, Wrexham and Birkenhead.
The purchased assets include around 110 vehicles, as well as the depot site at New Chester Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead; the depot at Liverpool Road, Chester; and a leased out-station facility at Rhosddu Industrial Estate, Rhosddu, Wrexham.
In the 12 months to 31 March 2012, the business had revenues of £11.9m, gross profits of around £1.7m and an operating profit of around £0.6m.
Stagecoach said in a stock market announcement: "The acquisition will allow Stagecoach to expand its successful bus operations in the North West where our Merseyside and South Lancashire business already operates more than 300 buses and employs more than 900 staff.
"The operations will become part of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, which carries 33 million passengers a year and is led by managing director Elisabeth Tasker."
Around 290 staff will transfer to Stagecoach's Glenvale Transport business under TUPE arrangements. Stagecoach expects the acquisition to be completed in December 2012 or January 2013.
Les Warneford, managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "This acquisition will extend our operations in the North West of England, particularly in Merseyside. We believe there is significant scope to develop these businesses and improve their financial performance by investing in the quality of the bus fleet, as well as offering customers our good value fares and attractive network tickets."