National Express Group PLC
03 September 2004
Friday 3 September 2004
NATIONAL EXPRESS GROUP PLC
Sale of Australian bus operations
National Express Group ('the Group') are pleased to announce that it has entered
into agreements for the sale of three of its four Australian bus operations;
National Bus Company ('NBC') operating in Victoria and Queensland and Southern
Coast Transit operating in Western Australia for a total consideration of
A$70.5m (£27.5m), which will be satisfied by A$63.4m in cash and A$7.1m in
taking over finance lease obligations.
In the year ended 31 December 2003, these three businesses reported a turnover
of A$85.7m (£33.8m) and a normalised operating profit of A$7.3m (£3.1m).
All necessary Government approvals have been granted or are being finalised.
Completion is expected to take place on 1 October 2004.
NBC Victoria, the largest private bus company in Victoria which operates
services predominantly around central Melbourne, has been sold to Ventura
Motors, a private Melbourne bus operator.
NBC Queensland and Southern Coast Transit have been sold to Connex Group,
Australia. NBC Queensland operates services in the metropolitan areas to the
south-east of Brisbane and into the central business district. Southern Coast
Transit operates services in central Perth and the southern metropolitan region.
The disposal proceeds will be used to reduce the Group's net debt. The proceeds
are in excess of the book value of the assets sold of £19m and the Board will
review the carrying value of the remaining Australian net assets of £33m by the
Commenting on the transaction, Phil White, Chief Executive, said:
'We are delighted to have completed negotiations. Our remaining Australian bus
operations, based in Sydney, are currently participating in the Bus Industry
Reform which is being carried out by the New South Wales Government.'
- ENDS -
For further information:
Adam Walker/Nicola Marsden
National Express Group PLC 020 7529 2000
Andrew Dowler/Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics 020 7831 3113
This information is provided by RNS
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