National Express has bought Cincinnati-based Petermann Partners Inc., currently the fifth largest US school bus operator, for $200m. The move boosts the company’s North American school operations by some 20% and increases the bus fleet by 3,300.
Petermann Partners had been the joint property of Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners LP and Petermann’s management team. In the financial year to 30 June, the business generated operating profits of $13.5m on sales of $150m.
Following the announcement, National Express shares rose as much as 2.7% and were later trading 1.9% at 225.4p.
Dean Finch, group chief executive of National Express, said: “We are delighted to acquire such a high quality business in Petermann. Our recent improved performance has enabled us to take advantage of this opportunity. It’s 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.”