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DEC
05
2017

Ashok Leyland increases stake in
Optare to 98% in loan swap

By The Whisperer

With many years in the coach and bus industry, The Whisperer keeps his ear to the ground for all the latest tit-bits and gossip. Tell him what’s going on in your part of the world: e-mail him via editorial@route-one.net


Leading Indian bus and truck manufacturer Ashok Leyland, a Hinduja Group Company, has increased its stake in its UK subsidiary Optare Plc by 23.20% to 98.31% by conversion of its existing loans into equity.

Ashok Leyland MD Vinod Dasari says: “Optare is well known for its innovative bus designs and this is a reaffirmation of our Group’s continuing commitment to making Optare a premier bus player in the U.K.

“In response to anticipated needs in the UK and overseas, Optare will be investing extensively in the next generation of all-electric buses, utilising higher density batteries and delivering much improved range. These are expected to be positioned by early 2018.”

Welcoming the decision Optare Chairman John Fickling said: “The move secures the financial stability of the company towards long-term growth.”

Optare’s President, Graham Belgum predicts a positive outlook for the UK based bus manufacturer next year despite challenges in the UK market: “The Metrodecker EV completed trials successfully with First York and First West Yorkshire recently, the first trials of a new fully electric double deck bus outside London. 

“We are also seeing significant developments in export with orders being secured in Australia and New Zealand, including a major contract for 114 Metrocity buses for a major operator in New Zealand and several tenders under consideration in the Middle East.”




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