RATP Dev and Tower Transit to form joint venture
London bus operators Tower Transit and RATP Dev UK are to form a joint venture.
The deal is to see Tower Transit’s Westbourne Park operations combine with RATP Dev UK’s London United and London Sovereign operations, with the combined operations taking the name RATP Dev London Transit Ltd (RDLT).
Tower Transit Ltd is to hold a 12.5% interest in RDLT.
The joint venture is expected to employ over 4,000 staff, operate 1,250 buses from ten garages in West London. The anticipated turnover of the joint venture is estimated to be £275m per annum.
Management, staff and assets associated with Tower Transit London operations at Lea Interchange (currently operating ten routes with two more awarded) are not included in the initial operations to be transferred into the RDLT joint venture. However, SeaLink said options for this asset are still being analysed, with an outcome expected in a similar time frame to the completion of the transaction that forms the joint venture.
The transaction is targeted for completion in December 2021. The deal is subject to ‘satisfaction of conditions’.
A statement from Tower Transit’s parent company, SeaLink, said the deal provides increased scale efficiencies for both current operators in what it describes as a challenging London bus market. The statement also notes the deal should facilitate a pooling of operational experience ‘including the transition to new technology’.
“We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Tower Transit to ensure the opportunities afforded by the partnership are fully realised” – Mehdi Sinaceur, RATP Dev Senior VP – United Kingdom, South Africa, and Americas Business Unit
Mehdi Sinaceur, RATP Dev Senior VP – United Kingdom, South Africa, and Americas Business Unit, said: “We are delighted to have reached a joint venture agreement with Tower Transit. Both RATP Dev London and Tower Transit are well established operators in West London and this partnership will increase our competitiveness, improve our cost base, further our commitment to electrification, enhance our offer to passengers and expand opportunities for employees. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at Tower Transit to ensure the opportunities afforded by the partnership are fully realised.”
Paul Cox, Chairman of the Tower Transit Group and CFO of SeaLink Travel Group’s international operations, added: “This is a very exciting development for Tower Transit and its parent, the SeaLink Travel Group. The negotiation of this agreement has already proved a close working relationship can be achieved which will be mutually beneficial, with common vision and values existing from the outset.”