Perth-based Stagecoach, the transport group behind the successful Megabus operation, are to acquire parts of a bankrupt US bus company.
The deal, worth about £100m, will see the firm buy businesses including charter, contract, line-run, and sightseeing operations from Coach America.
Already with a considerable presence in America, the Scottish company hope that the deal will help boost its infrastructure and allow the megabus.com venture to expand.
Speaking about the acquisition, chief executive of Stagecoach, Sir Brian Souter, said:
“Our North American division is the fastest growing part of the group and this transaction will allow us to acquire selected businesses and vehicles at attractive prices in markets and regions we know well.”
Though not always stretching as far as the other side of The Atlantic, many other Scottish groups are progressing their operations through acquisition in the present climate.
Many are aided by third party investment, or securing funding through the introduction of strategies such as invoice factoring.
The financing for Stagecoach has been provided largely from the profits generated in the last year, as consumers embrace budget coach travel, both in the UK and the US. In the US, sales for their operations increased by 14% in the previous 11 months to the end of March.
The buy-up of Coach America, one of the largest operators in the US, will surely boost this – particularly as many of the operations will be based in California and Texas.
Though Stagecoach do not envisage any problems, the deal still needs ratification by the regulatory bodies in the States.