Rival bidder for Morebus owner Go-Ahead ‘assessing options’


A RIVAL bidder for the company which owns Morebus and Damory has said it is still assessing its options.

Its statement came as the Go-Ahead Group said some of its buses are as busy as before Covid.

Go-Ahead agreed last month to a £650million takeover by a consortium including Australian bus operator Kinetic Holdings and Spanish infrastructure investor Globalvia, both backed by a Canadian pension fund.

Rival bidder Kelsian said it had until August 1 to make its own firm offer.

It said: “Kelsian continues to carefully assess all its options in relation to the opportunity and accordingly continues to urge Go-Ahead shareholders to take no action at this time.”

In a trading update on Monday, Go-Ahead said it had increased profit guidance for its regional bus division.

The business now expects operating profit before exceptional items to beat the last two years.

The division is carrying more than 85 per cent of the passengers it was before the pandemic, and recent weeks have been “particularly encouraging”, it said.

“Passenger numbers on public transport have continued to recover from the pandemic, and in certain parts of the UK, such as Manchester, our buses are as busy as they were before Covid-19,” said chief executive Christian Schreyer.

“We are encouraged to see so many people using buses and trains and we expect a busy summer ahead, particularly in tourist areas.”

In a separate document published on Monday, Kinetic and Globalvia said they did not expect the acquisition to result in any reduction in headcount, but added there would be a “limited” impact on staff who support Go-Ahead’s listing on the London Stock Exchange, which would be revoked after the takeover.

It also does not expect any depot closures, or material changes to the employment conditions of staff.

When the new owners come in they will review Go-Ahead’s rail businesses in Germany and Norway, which might end in those units being sold.

Go-Ahead’s subsidiary Go South Coast was formed owns a string of bus and coach businesses across Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight.

They include Poole-based Morebus; bus and coach business Damory, which operates from Poundbury West Industrial Estate; Excelsior Coaches, based at Pimperne; and Tourist Coaches in Salisbury. Its coach businesses run school and student transport and cater for sport and leisure, corporate hire and day trips.





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