REL buys out Rainham Coach Co

REL Capital has bought a 100% shareholding of Rainham Coach Company. The investment business has also agreed a new £4m facility for further acquisitions.

Rainham Coach Company has been established for over 25 years and operates a number of contracts alongside its private hire and tour work. It operates a modern fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles from two centres, with a maintenance facility in Gillingham, Kent. It has a license for 28 vehicles.

Rainham will be operated by REL Redwing, which REL Capital took over in February 2022. Redwing is looking to grow back its fleet to its pre-Covid levels of over 60 coaches over the next two years. The company has placed orders for a number of new 2024 face-lifted Volvo coaches for March.

The Rainham business will be led by Tom Maidman, Director of REL Redwing, and his team. Tom said: “We Thank David Graham and his family for all their hard work over the last 25 years, wish them well in their retirement, and look forward to welcoming the Rainham team and drivers to REL Redwing, which is located 20 minutes from our existing Gravesend Depot in Kent.”

Additionally, Kings Ferry and Clarkes drivers affected by the closures of local Kent depots have been reached out to.

More acquisitions to come

The Rainham deal marks the eight acquisition in the coach sector over the last three years by sector investor REL Capital, who bought APT Coaches in Essex, just seven weeks ago, to be operated under the REL Davian brand. This is in addition to the renamed REL South Mimms and Reg’s Coaches acquired in May. There are two more purchases of operators by REL in the pipeline that are due to be completed before the end of the year in Hertfordshire and Essex.

Rainham is a profitable retirement sale with a modern fleet. REL changed its investment focus from distressed purchases this year to retirement purchases. The investment business is still actively looking to speak to other operators who do not want to carry on and are considering retirement, having agreed terms for a new £ 4m funding facility.

Andy Scott, REL Chairman, said: “With all of our investments in the coach sector now profitable, we are keen to continue our model of bolting on new businesses onto our existing operators, whilst also speaking to larger operators for stand-alone opportunities and welcome any opportunity to chat.”

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