National Express has bought student bus company Petermann Partners, the fifth-largest provider of student transportation in the USA, in a $200m deal from Macquarie, and expects to complete the deal in the fourth quarter of this year.
The purchase makes National Express secure in its position as the second largest private school bus operator in the US.
Chief executive Dean Finch said: “The move is a great strategic fit for our existing school bus business, complementing our current operations, introducing us to new states and giving us a foothold in the paratransit market.
“This is an important step in delivering our strategy of growth in North America.”
National Express’ share value rose by 15p to 236.1p over this afternoon’s (September 13) trading, in response to the news.
The North American leg of National Express contributed approximately 30% of the company’s operating profits in the first half of this year.
Petermann’s operating area in the US is extensive, including 10 Midwest, West and Southwestern states, as well as its operating base in Ohio, where it is the market leader.
National Express is the UK’s largest coach operator and runs the c2c and East Anglia franchises, while also providing bus and coach services in Spain.