Sale of the Go-Ahead Group to a consortium made up of Australasian bus operator Kinetic Group (51%) and transport concession manager Globalvia Inversiones (49%) completed on 10 October, as expected.
The deal values Go-Ahead at around £669m. Under the consortium’s finalised offer, each shareholder is entitled to 1,550p per share, made up of 1,450p in cash and a 100p “special dividend.” Approval of the purchase was gained from Go-Ahead shareholders in August and it was sanctioned by the High Court on 6 October.
Go-Ahead had recommended acceptance of the offer, with Group Chief Executive Christian Schreyer describing it as “compelling.” Kinetic Co-CEO Michael Sewards added then that the majority purchaser planned to provide long-term capital and expertise “to facilitate the rapid transition of Go-Ahead’s bus fleet from diesel to zero-emission technology.”
Both consortium members say that they are “strongly convinced of the strength of Go-Ahead’s operations and the markets in which [it] operates and are positive about the long-term opportunities available to the Go-Ahead business.”
They also see opportunities for Go-Ahead to “increase its footprint in the regional UK bus market,” both by leveraging Kinetic and Globalvia’s experience in collaborating with local authorities to enhance networks and via “strategic” merger and acquisition.
Mr Schreyer remains part of the Go-Ahead board alongside Chair Claire Hollingsworth, non-executive Director Dominic Lavelle and Group Chief Financial Officer Sarah Mussenden. Ms Mussenden is expected to remain in place for a transitionary period of 18 months. Three other board members stepped down upon completion of the sale.
Kinetic and Globalvia formed subsidiary Gerrard Investment Bidco to handle the purchase. Kinetic runs around 4,000 buses in Australia and New Zealand and has expanded its operations there in 2022. Globalvia operates and maintains 26 infrastructure projects.
Australian company Kelsian Group – which owns Tower Transit – had also indicated its interest in purchasing Go-Ahead, but it withdrew in on 21 July.