Rotala buys South Lancs

Rotala plc has announced the acquisition of Green Triangle Buses Ltd, which trades as South Lancs Travel, from Rolling Solutions Ltd and Julian Peddle, the same Uttoxeter based ownership combination that owns D&G Bus. The deal was completed for £900,000 in cash and at completion Rotala paid £368,000 to Green Triangle’s bankers to clear the outstanding overdraft. At acquisition, net assets totalled £466,000 including hire purchase debt of £233,000. Green Triangle Buses revenues for the year ended 31 August 2014 totalled £3.9m and profit before tax and exceptional items was £107,000. Rotala expects the deal to generate positive goodwill of £450,000.

Included in the deal are 43 vehicles and the leased depot at Atherton which Rotala sees as ‘well placed within the local transport network and capable of handling the expansion needs envisaged for GTB at the current time’. Around 100 staff are employed. Prior to completion, four new Enviro200s were transferred from Atherton to D&G at Crewe, with three older Scanias going the other way.

Rotala believes the purchase will enable it to enhance its position in the Lancashire market and give it access for the first time to the Greater Manchester area which falls under the remit of Transport for Greater Manchester. It will become part of the North West division of Rotala, headed by MD, Bob Dunn from Preston. The intention is to rename it Diamond Bus (North West) Limited. In a statement, Rotala said the acquisition was not expected to have a material impact on earnings in the current financial year, the integration of operations and overheads is expected to have been fully implemented by the end of the current financial year and following these steps, the purchase was expected to have a beneficial effect on earnings in future years.
David Reeves of Rolling Solutions commented, ‘The decision to sell Green Triangle has been difficult to make and it is hard to let it go, but geographically it is very difficult to run a business in Manchester when our other operations are closer to home, but I’m confident Rotala will continue to run the business successfully.’ He told B&CB that ‘further development had been limited by the geographical challenge.’

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