Astons Coaches, the Worcester bus and coach operator, has taken over M&S Coaches of Hereford.
M&S was started 25 years ago by Maurice and Sue Peruffo, who have decided to retire. All of the staff will remain within M&S and become part of the Astons Group. Maurice and Sue approached Astons in September 2017 about taking over their operation. The deal took place in February this year, with the announcement having only recently been made.
M&S operates 15 vehicles and will continue to provide services from its base in Leominster. Its fleet ranges from 16-seat minibuses to a 41-seat midicoach. Their latest edition is a 32-seat executive Yutong. Initially, M&S is to keep its current identity, with no changes to its vehicles, services or livery currently planned.
The Astons fleet is approximately 60-strong, with the main core of it consisting of full-size Scania coaches. The rest is at the smaller end and includes five Yutongs, as well as some service buses.
MD at Astons, Richard Conway, said one of the first joint activities across both fleets is the fitment of tracking technology. Astons currently uses Teletrac Navman for this.
Commenting on the take-over, M&S’s Maurice Peruffo said: “Once we had made the decision to retire, we wanted to identify a company which would provide the best possible fit with our business. Over the last few months, in discussion with Richard Conway and the team at Astons, we became convinced that they had the same approach as us in providing the best quality service while realising that our people are our key assets. Though Les Allen will be standing down as a director, I am delighted that both he and all our team will be remaining in the business, even as Sue and I retire”.
Richard Conway said: “We are delighted to welcome the M&S team into the Astons Group. They run a very efficient business, where the customer comes first. The quality and presentation of their vehicles are of the highest order. This is of course exactly what we strive to deliver ourselves and why this is therefore such a good match. I have no doubt that they will become an important part of our business.”