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September 06 2017
By Mel Holley

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

Rotala spends £1m to buy Goodwins' bus operation

Seven years after it started contracted bus routes in Manchester, Eccles-based Go Goodwins has exited service bus work, with the sale of 19 buses and a freehold depot to Rotala, along with the transfer of its service bus contracts.

The £692,500 cash deal, which rises to £1m, including working capital and associated capital expenditure, was paid for by a share issue by Rotala.

Rotala has bought the ‘old’ depot, on the opposite side of the road to Go Goodwins ‘new’ depot, opened in 2015, which includes a three-lane MOT/ATF site. Go Goodwins continues to operate 20 coaches and buses on corporate, private hire and schools contracts.

The legal entity - Go Goodwins - has not been bought, and the firm will continue to operate its respected coach business - best known for its England Cricket Board and football team contracts.

Rotala will re-brand Go Goodwins service buses under its existing Diamond Bus brand, already present in Great Manchester.

Rotala says the deal will enable it to “significantly grow its operations in the Manchester area and potentially double its bus capacity.”

As a result of the purchase, Rotala believes it will benefit from additional sales, gross profit and EBITDA contributions of around £2m, £400,000 and £200,000 respectively, in the first full year following completion of the purchase, which took place on 31 August.

The business’ roots lay with Alan Edward Goodwin, who started working with his granddad at York Motors in Chorlton Cum Hardy as a mechanic in 1976.

Within the year, he started Go Goodwins from a council house in Benchill, Wythenshawe.

By 1985, contracts included Manchester United Football Club, and in 1994 it bought Erics Way Coaches and moved to larger premises in Salford. At the same time, the fourth generation son, Wes Goodwin, 18, joined the company. Alan Edward Goodwin, passed away on 23 December 2014

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