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Bus News: Issue Issue 13 1 Jul 2010

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East London for sale

June 9

Months of industry speculation has been confirmed with the news that Australian investment bank Macquarie has put its London bus business up for sale.

A spokesman for the East London Bus Group confirmed that the company's board had met and made the decision to investigate options for selling the business.

He added that it was the start of the process and that it would be two to three months before any further developments.

ELBG comprises the former Stagecoach London bus businesses that were acquired by Macquarie in the summer of 2006 in a £263.6m deal. It currently operates over 1,300 vehicles in the capital from 10 garages in east and south east London.

When it acquired the Stagecoach London business many in the industry were surprised by how much the Australian bank had paid to acquire the firm. The bank's cash offer was 10 times higher than Stagecoach London’s then £23.6m operating profit.

The sale is likely to attract the interest of continental transport groups such as Abellio and RATP Dev.

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