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July 25 2018
By Mel Holley

Mel was routeONE magazine’s Editor until autumn 2018. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.


Debut purchase: HCT Group buys
South-Yorks Powells Bus

Transport social enterprise HCT Group has bought Hellaby, Rotherham-based Powells Bus for an undisclosed sum “to continue the group’s expansion in the South Yorkshire.”

It is the first outright commercial acquisition by HCT Group, which completed yesterday (Tuesday 24 July).

Says HCT Group CEO Dai Powell: “We think that this acquisition is a sign of things to come for HCT Group. A social enterprise buying a commercial operator – with a view to turning it into a social enterprise – is a great way of providing public services for public benefit.”

Founded in 1996, family-owned Powells runs 30 vehicles on local bus services, school buses and private hires in the Rotherham and Doncaster areas.

Adds Dai Powell: “We have been working in Yorkshire as CT Plus since 2004 and are looking to expand our operations.

“We have been looking for three things in our first acquisition.

“The first was a business that was a good match for our own in terms of services operated.

“The second was a business where there were significant opportunities for growth.

“The third is arguably the most important – we believe that local services have a real social impact for communities and we sought out an operator that felt the same way.

Ian Powell, of Powells Bus, says: “HCT Group has the resources and expertise to help take Powells Bus to the next level – pursuing new opportunities and growing the organisation.”  

Jane Powell, of Powells Bus, says: “HCT Group really understands the ethos we have built here at Powells.

“They have a genuine track record of providing local services in the communities where they work – and, like us, they know what our services mean to the people that use them; that they are vital lifelines.”

As HCT Group has plans to grow the business, no jobs are at risk from the move, it says.



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