RATP Dev acquires London Sovereign
RATP Dev has acquired the London Sovereign bus company, a Transdev owned operation. According to RATP Dev, the acquisition was made to consolidate the dynamic drive of its operations in the UK, which it described as its ‘leading zone of activity’.
London Sovereign operates over 140 buses and 12 routes on behalf of TfL within Central and North West London, carrying 30m people each year. London Sovereign employs over 450 staff at its two garages in Edgware and Harrow. The deal strengthens the RATP Dev presence in the capital where it now runs in aggregate 81 TfL routes with over 1,000 buses from ten garages through its subsidiaries London United, Epsom Coaches and London Sovereign. Transdev had previously sold another operation in the capital, London United, to RATP in 2011.
RATP Dev Executive Board President, Francois-Xavier Perin, sees in this acquisition ‘confirmation of the dynamic drive of RATP Dev operations in the United Kingdom, where we generated some £250m of revenue in 2013 with a workforce of over 4,500, making it our largest single market.’
CEO of the Great Britain & Ireland business unit at RATP Dev, Timothy Jackson, is delighted with the idea of ‘working with the staff in place at London Sovereign. We look forward to pooling knowledge and best practices within our operations to offer passengers the highest quality service and ensure that we meet the expectations of Transport for London, the public transport authority in London, which are among the most demanding in the world.’
RATP Dev is a subsidiary of RATP Group, the French state owned transport operator based in Paris. Its UK subsidiaries include: London United, Epsom Coaches, Bournemouth Transport Ltd, Metrolink, Bath Bus Company and Selwyns Travel. Transdev is also a French based operator, with operations in 21 countries worldwide.
In 2011, Transdev and Veolia Transport merged to create a new company, Transdev/Veolia (now called Transdev). RATP had a 25.6% stake in Transdev and at the time of the merger, RATP decided to exit in exchange of assets belonging to Transdev and Veolia Transport. London United and Yellow Buses were acquired from Transdev in this way.
London Sovereign’s roots can be traced back to Borehamwood Travel Services. In 1994, the company was sold to Blazefield Group’s Sovereign operation and was renamed Sovereign London. Its ownership then transferred to Transdev in 2002, where it had another renaming, this time to Transdev London Sovereign. The Blazefield Group was sold to Transdev in 2006.