Scotland business

Stagecoach in £100m US expansion

Megabus
Stagecoach said the acquisition would allow it to expand its megabus operations in the US

Perth transport group Stagecoach has agreed to buy parts of a US bus firm for about £100m.

Coach America, which is headquartered in Dallas, was declared bankrupt earlier this year.

Stagecoach will acquire nine of Coach America's businesses, including operations in Texas and California.

The Scottish group said the purchases would provide depot infrastructure, enabling it to expand its megabus.com budget coach network.

Stagecoach chief executive Sir Brian Souter said: "Our North American division is the fastest growing part of the group and this transaction will allow us to acquire selected businesses and vehicles at attractive prices in markets and regions we know well.

"These businesses will benefit from both our management expertise and ability to invest for growth."

He added: "We see significant potential to roll-out megabus.com's successful package of low fares and high quality service to new locations in the United States.

"The acquisitions in Texas and California in particular will give us an extended geographic footprint to accelerate our growth strategy for the brand, which already covers around 80 key locations in North America."

Like-for-like sales at Stagecoach's US bus operations rose 14% in the 11 months to the end of March.

Coach America is one of the biggest bus and coach company in the US and has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since January 2012.

The businesses being acquired include contract, line-run, charter and sightseeing operations.

The deal needs regulatory approval.

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