ComfortDelGro airs coach growth aims after Stagecoach deal

ComfortDelGro Scottish Citylink coach

ComfortDelGro (CDG) is already planning to deliver further growth of its soon-to-expand scheduled coach business in the UK through the rollout of “new and innovative services” as it prepares for post-COVID-19 recovery.

The bullish statement was issued following a deal being struck for CDG to purchase Stagecoach’s 35% stake in the two companies’ Scottish Citylink joint venture, which will give CDG full ownership. CDG will also acquire the marketing, retail and customer service activities of Stagecoach’s Megabus business and those of the Falcon scheduled coach service between Bristol and Plymouth.

The deal was announced at the same time that agreement was reached for National Express to purchase Stagecoach. It “proactively addresses potential regulatory considerations” around the latter takeover, says Stagecoach, and is worth £8.75m. Completion is expected on 28 February 2022.

Once complete, it will give ComfortDelGro 11% of the UK’s intercity coach market, the company claims. Stagecoach will continue to provide subcontracted coach and bus operational services to CDG’s scheduled coach business.

CDG Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Yang Ban Seng says: “We intend to leverage… the experience that we have gained in our existing operations to roll our new and innovative services for our passengers in England, Wales and Scotland as we position ourselves for post-COVID-19 recovery. We will continue to look at opportunities to grow our business in the UK, which remains one of our most significant investment destinations.”

Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths has already articulated how under new ownership, the Falcon, Megabus and Scottish Citylink businesses “will continue to thrive.” He adds that through agreeing the transaction, Stagecoach will ensure “that the inter-city coach market in the UK remains robust and competitive.”