Souter gets Naked Bus
Stagecoach founder, Sir Brian Souter, has acquired New Zealand operator, Naked Bus. The deal sees Sir Brian bring together two of the country’s leading long distance coach operators, as he plans to combine this latest acquisition with his other similar operator in the country, ManaBus.com. The latter is set to take over the Naked Bus operations. Naked Bus Founder and Chief Executive Hamish Nuttall will be MD of the combined company. Despite the combination, both businesses will continue to operate under their respective brands. ManaBus.com is a road transport and ferry business which carries 13m passengers a year and employs 670 people. With operations in both Auckland and Wellington, its brands include Howick and Eastern Buses, Mana Coach Services and Waiheke Bus Company as well as ferry companies Fullers Group and 360 Discovery.
Sir Brian said, ‘This is an exciting development for ManaBus.com. The future is bright for the combined operation with eleven new buses due to arrive before the end of the year. This includes five bespoke double-deckers being built by Tauranga-based Kiwi Bus Builders as well as six specialty coaches to serve shorter routes.’