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Transport Benevolent Fund - 2019
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February 02 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Rotala buys Central Buses for £1.95m

Rotala is buying CEN Group, trading as north Birmingham-based Central Buses running commercial and contracted routes.

The deal, for £1.95m includes the entire bus business, its brand and the 31-strong fleet.

CEN Group MD Geoff Cross: “Realistically I have grown the business to its maximum potential given current resources of a small bus operator.”

It will be integrated into Rotala’s existing West Midlands depots that trade as Diamond Bus. 

The deal, expected to completed by the end of this month, will extend Rotala’s network in northern part of Birmingham, particularly in the Perry Barr area. 

CEN Group MD Geoff Cross, 31, says: “The decision has not been an easy, following almost 15 years of operating buses.

“Realistically I have grown the business to its maximum potential given current resources of a small bus operator.

“The industry is becoming increasingly more regulated with a requirement for continued investment. The best opportunity for the company to continue to thrive is with the backing of a larger operator.”

“The sale of Central Buses brings new opportunities and I am looking forward to being able to completely focus on our vehicle CCTV business, Centrad, which has grown significantly in recent years.”

Rotala estimates that the Central business has annual revenues of approximately £2.8m and that its vehicle fleet has a “fair value” of approximately £1.5m.

The acquisition is expected to generate about £450,000 of positive goodwill on consolidation and an additional EBITDA contribution of approximately £450,000 in a full year.

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