UPDATE: ComfortDelGro to acquire Australia’s Buslink Companies and 11 depots for around A$191 million

ComfortDelGro taxi in SingaporeComfortDelGro taxi in Singapore

ComfortDelGro said on Monday that it would acquire Australia’s Buslink and Buslink Southern, which operate a fleet of 401 buses across four Australian states, and their 11 bus depots for a total of A$190.9 million, or around S$187.0 million.

“The acquisition will enable CDC Australia to extend its footprint into the Northern Territory and Queensland markets and also strengthen its bus operations in New South Wales and Victoria, where it already operates more than 2,250 buses,” ComfortDelGro said in a filing to SGX before the market open on Monday.

The purchase price of A$168.2 million, or around S$165.0 million. for the Buslink Companies is around 7.9 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, it said. The acquisition will be financed via a mix of debt and internal funds, with deal completion expected by 30 November, ComfortDelGro said.

CDC Australia also entered agreements to acquire 11 depot properties for A$22.7 million, or around S$22.3 million, to operate bus services, the filing said.

The Buslink Companies provide public bus, school bus and charter bus services, and are contracted to run 164 buses in Northern Territory, 151 buses in Queensland and 86 buses in New South Wales/Victoria, it said.

The deal comes around three months after ComfortDelGro announced a A$110 million acquisition of FCL Holdings, which runs the Forest Coach Lines in Northern Sydney and regional New South Wales, it said.

After the acquisition, ComfortDelGro will have a fleet of over 4,200 vehicles, including buses, coaches, taxis and ambulances, operating in six Australian states, as well as offering outdoor advertising, it said.

ComfortDelGro Chairman Lim Jit Poh pointed to the company’s plan to counter disruption in the market.

“We have embarked on a more aggressive investment strategy as can be seen from the fact that we have invested over S$450 million in the year to-date,” Lim said. “We have also moved into new related businesses like non-emergency patient services and worked at growing existing revenue streams like non-scheduled bus services. We are also exploring opportunities in new businesses which leverage on technology and artificial intelligence.”

This article was originally published on Monday 5 November 2018 at 8:58 A.M. SGT; it has since been updated.

 

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