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GO-AHEAD ACQUIRES EAST THAMES BUSES
30 July 2009

The Go-Ahead Group plc (‘Go-Ahead’) has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of East Thames Buses from Transport for London (‘TfL’) for a total cash consideration of £5 million. TfL anticipates that the operation of East Thames Buses’ contracts by Go-Ahead will save it over £30 million pounds over a 9 year period as a result of the combination of the sale of its assets, reduced operating costs and economies of scale, thus providing ‘significantly better value for money for fare and taxpayers’. The transaction is due to be completed by 5 September 2009.

East Thames Buses has operated bus services in Southeast London for 9 years. East Thames Buses will operate as part of the Go-Ahead London Bus Company.

East Thames Buses has around 460 employees and a fleet of 113 vehicles. It operates 9 routes for TfL including 2 school routes. All contracts will be renewed with East Thames Buses for a 5 year period from the date of completion, together with a 2 year option for extension. The annual turnover of the business is around £24 million.

All staff will transfer under provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

Commenting on the transaction, Go-Ahead’s Group Chief Executive, Keith Ludeman said “The acquisition of East Thames Buses provides us with an excellent opportunity to further develop Go-Ahead’s London bus business. This acquisition will enable us to leverage synergies from our existing bus operations and to enhance the quality of East Thames bus services to passengers.

“Go-Ahead’s bus operations in London, which includes Metrobus, will now grow further with a market share of 21.5%, utilizing over 1,800 vehicles and over 5,500 employees. They will also serve over a million passengers each day. This business provides an essential service in London which is continuing to see increased demand for public transport as London’s population continues to grow.”

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Go-Ahead Group  
Keith Ludeman, Group Chief Executive 020 7821 3920
Jim Boyd, Group Corporate Affairs Director 020 7821 3927
 
Citigate Dewe Rogerson Limited 020 7638 9571
Chris Barrie  
Angharad Couch

 

Notes to Editors

GO-AHEAD

Go-Ahead is one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport services operating in the bus, rail and aviation services sectors. Employing over 27,500 people across the country, around 920 million passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. In addition to the travelling public, customers include the Department for Transport (DfT), TfL, local authorities, British Airports Authority (BAA) and major airlines.

GO-AHEAD LONDON

Go-Ahead London comprises London Central, London General, Blue Triangle and Docklands Buses and is the busiest bus operator in the Capital with approximately 360 million bus journeys annually. Through Metrobus we also operate routes in the Capital for TfL.

The majority of its routes are operated under five or seven year contracts with TfL. These contracts are awarded under a rolling tender programme. The company is also contracted to operate a small number of routes for Essex and Surrey County Councils.

TfL operates Quality Incentive Contracts, designed to reward excellent customer service, and publishes comprehensive quarterly league tables of performance. Go-Ahead London consistently top these quality league tables.

The average age of Go-Ahead London's fleet is only 5.9 years, substantially below the industry average and the Government's industry target of 8 years.
Go-Ahead London was the first bus company in the UK to introduce buses powered by engines that meet Euro 4 standards and more stringent EEV requirements. In partnership with TfL, it continues to trial diesel electric hybrid buses which are expected to reduce emissions by at least 30% compared to a conventional diesel bus.

BUS

Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of over 3,400 buses, we carry, on average, around 1.6 million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London where we provide regulated services for TfL. We operate deregulated services in the north east; Oxford; the south east and southern England.

RAIL

The rail operation, Govia, is 65% owned by Go-Ahead and 35% by Keolis. It is the busiest rail operation in the UK, responsible for nearly 30% of all UK passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies: Southern (which includes the Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland. The Southeastern franchise will include the operation of new high speed trains on the domestic Channel Tunnel Rail Link into St Pancras International from 2009, significantly reducing current journey times.

For further information about our rail franchises please visit our factsheets: http://www.go-ahead.com/goahead/ir/factsheets_rail/

AVIATION SERVICES

The Group's aviation services division is one of the UK's largest independent providers of cargo services (primarily Plane Handling), ground handling (primarily Aviance UK) and car parking (Meteor). The division operates from 14 airports and services major airline operators such as British Airways (BA), Virgin and bmi. Market leading services within Meteor include 'Meet & Greet' and 'Pink Elephant' services.

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