It was reported on the London Stock Exchange this morning (2nd February 2018) that Central Buses, the bus operator based in Birmingham, has been purchased by Diamond Bus, a Rotala group company.
A total cash consideration of £1.95m, funded from Rotala’s existing debt facilities, was used to pay for the acquisition of the 31 strong fleet, which operates in Staffordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands.
Central Buses is a well-established operator of commercial and contracted bus services in the northern part of the area. This business, with its staff, will be integrated into the existing depot infrastructure which Rotala already possesses in the West Midlands area.
The acquisition will extend the Group’s network of bus services in the northern part of Birmingham, particularly in the Perry Barr area.
Central Buses are a operator of many bus services supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority, along with routes supported by Worcestershire County Council, meaning that these services will turn into Diamond Bus services, providing passengers with much more value for money when using operator specific passes.
This will also mean that the changes to service 318 (Stourbridge to Bromsgrove), which were mentioned in a previous article, will still go ahead, but will be returning to Diamond not long after the changes occur.
Speculation is abound that the majority of the fleet will transfer to Diamond Bus, but it is unknown which vehicles will remain with Geoff Cross, the owner of Central Buses, and the status of the Private Hire business.
Completion of the sale is expected towards the end of February/early March, with integration of services and passes to occur shortly after.
More details on this acquisition will be posted as soon as they become available.