New Flyer buys North American Bus Industries

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NORTH AMERICA Canadian bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has acquired North American Bus Industries (NABI), of Anniston, Alabama, for $80m (US) from private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LLP.

New Flyer, which has three manufacturing plants in Minnesota, takes over NABI’S facility in Anniston.

“NABI represents a compelling growth platform for us,” said Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer. “Its addition to the New Flyer family provides us with a highly complementary product line, access to new customers, a cost efficient manufacturing platform based in Alabama and it creates a significant player in aftermarket parts.”

Founded in 1992 and known as American Ikarus before 1996, NABI employs more than 600 people and produces a comprehensive line of heavy-duty transit buses in Anniston. In January the company acquired a $210m contract to build hundreds of natural gas-fuelled buses for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The work is scheduled to continue through 2015, when the contract is set to expire. NABI is also a former owner of Optare.

New Flyer produces buses powered by clean diesel, natural gas and electric trolley buses along with energy-efficient diesel-electric hybrids. The company has delivered more than 32,000 heavy-duty buses in Canada and the United States.

Funding for the acquisition has been engineered through the sale of new shares valued at $65m (Canadian) to Marcopolo SA – which gives it a 19.99% holding in New Flyer common shares – and through a restated and amended senior credit facility. The acquisition will be immediately accretive to share earnings and cash flow.

In addition to the Anniston plant, NABI’s assets include a major parts distribution centre in Delaware, Ohio and a service support facility in Jurupa Valley, Calfornia. NABI is to be divided into two entities – NABI Bus, for the manufacturing side and NABI Parts to service the aftermarket and support operation.