First to buy York Pullman
FirstGroup has signed an agreement to purchase York Pullman Bus Company.
York Pullman comprises five brands in the provision of bus and coach services. It has a strong presence in regional and business to business (B2B) operations in York and the surrounding area of North Yorkshire.
York Pullman is predominantly a provider of home-to-school and college contracted services and private hire operations including rail replacement. It also comprises a small number of local bus routes operated on behalf of several local authorities and which First believes are complementary to its operations in York. The company has expanded through organic growth and acquisitions over its 23 years of business.
York Pullman has a mixed fleet of more than 130 vehicles with varying passenger capacity which has enabled it to build a broad range of customers.
The acquisition of the York Pullman business is expected to both enhance FirstGroup’s operational footprint in North Yorkshire and provide growth opportunities in adjacent markets and development of its private hire capability.
The acquisition of the York-based business is anticipated to be completed over the next few weeks, subject to customary regulatory review.
“This is an important step in the development of York Pullman to build on its success and ensure its sustainability” – Tom James, Managing Director of York Pullman
Tom James, Managing Director of York Pullman, will remain with the company and continue to run it on a standalone basis with support from the existing York Pullman team alongside the First Bus executive team. He will also contribute to the development of the First Bus coach services growth strategy.
He said: “This is an important step in the development of York Pullman to build on its success and ensure its sustainability for the future within FirstGroup, whilst retaining its identity and core values.”
“A key pillar of our strategy is to grow and diversify our portfolio” – Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer
Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer, said: “A key pillar of our strategy is to grow and diversify our portfolio. The acquisition of York Pullman – a long- established, high-performing business – fits well with our strategy as it will both enhance the First Bus operational footprint in North Yorkshire and expand our adjacent services business, where we are looking to grow our presence.”