Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.

Australian-Spanish duo buy Go-Ahead

Peter Stonham
18 October 2022
 

The planned sale of the Go-Ahead Group to a consortium made up of Australasian bus operator Kinetic Group (51%) and Spanish multinational transport infrastructure concession manager Globalvia  (49%) was completed on 10 October.

The deal amounts to a rescue of Go Ahead after financial and accounting irregularities including the stripping of its SouthEastern Rail Franchise last year after failing to declare £25m in Government support. 

In January, its shares were briefly suspended because it failed to publish its results on time. As well as the scandal at Southeastern - which saw a big drop in revenue from loss of the franchise, other  franchise situations  and onerous contract provisions in Germany added to the financial confusion. A new  management team, was brought in.

In its  half-year results earlier this year, those for 2021 were radically restated, with pre-tax profit pushed up by £26mn, and net assets down by £52mn, plus a raft of  adjustments 

The sale 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  sanctioned by the High Court on 6 October. 

Go-Ahead Group chief executive Christian Schreyer described 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.” Kinetic and Globalvia formed subsidiary Gerrard Investment Bidco to undertake  the purchase.

They say they  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. 

Schreyer remains part of the Go-Ahead board alongside chair Claire Hollingsworth, non-executive director Dominic Lavelle and group chief Financial Officer Sarah Mussenden. Three other board members stepped down upon completion of the sale.

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 pulled out in July.

Policy and Research Advisor, Urban Transport Group
Urban Transport Group
Leeds
£34,356 per annum
Highways Contracts Manager
Brighton & Hove Council
Brighton
£47,573 - £51,327
Policy and Research Advisor, Urban Transport Group
Urban Transport Group
Leeds
£34,356 per annum
View all Vacancies
 
Search
 
 
 

TransportXtra is part of Landor LINKS

© 2023 TransportXtra | Landor LINKS Ltd | All Rights Reserved

Subscriptions, Magazines & Online Access Enquires
[Frequently Asked Questions]
Email: subs.ltt@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7959

Shop & Accounts Enquires
Email: accounts@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7855

Advertising Sales & Recruitment Enquires
Email: daniel@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7861

Events & Conference Enquires
Email: conferences@landor.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7865

Press Releases & Editorial Enquires
Email: info@transportxtra.com | Tel: +44 (0) 20 7091 7875

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Advertise

Web design london by Brainiac Media 2020