National Express buys up US bus group for £126m

TRANSPORT group National Express said it had acquired US student bus company Petermann Partners for $200m (£126m) from Macquarie Global Opportunities to help grow its business in the United States and Canada.

National Express said it expected to complete the deal in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals. “It’s a great strategic fit for our existing school bus business, complementing our current operations, introducing us to new states and giving us a foothold in the paratransit market,” National Express chief executive Dean Finch said.

Petermann is the market leader in its home state of Ohio. National Express’s North American business contributed nearly 30 per cent of the company’s first-half operating profits of £117.6m.