FirstGroup has signed an agreement to purchase Ensign Bus Company which will allow it to enhance its operational footprint in Essex.
Ensignbus is a company with strong offerings in regional commercial and B2B operations in Essex, as well as having a well-established vehicle refurbishment and re-sale operation.
Its commercial bus operations comprise a local bus route network complementary to First Bus’ operations in Essex and two B2B segments that include rail replacement and private hire contract operations.
Ensignbus has a young vehicle fleet of 55 buses that will be part of the sale, but its specialist heritage fleet is excluded from the transaction.
The deal is anticipated to be completed over the next few months subject to customary regulatory review.
Peter Newman, Ensignbus Chairman, said: “I want to thank all of our employees at Ensignbus for their ongoing hard work to deliver great service for our passengers across all of our communities in Essex, and we will be supporting them fully as they move to their new employer.
“We’re pleased that First Bus, with their reputation for customer service, innovation and sustainability, will take the Ensignbus business forward as a going concern and we wish them a successful future.”
Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer, said the acquisition allow the company to not only grow its B2B offering, but to also enhance its operational footprint in Essex.
He added: “This is a strategically and financially accretive growth opportunity for us, and one that is fully aligned to our balanced capital allocation policy.”