National Express Group PLC ('National Express' or the 'Group') announces that it has entered a binding agreement to sell Travel London, its London bus business, to NedRailways, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways. The agreement is subject to the consent of Transport for London ('TfL') and is expected to be completed shortly.
The Group is selling the entire issued share capital of Travel London Ltd and Travel London (West) Limited (together 'Travel London') for £32.0 million on a cash and debt-free basis. The gross assets which are the subject of the transaction as at 31 December 2008 were £35.9million and the profit before interest and taxation for the 12 months ended 31 December 2008 was £3.9million. The Group will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce its existing borrowings.
Richard Bowker, Chief Executive, National Express Group, said, "As part of our 'self-help' programme to strengthen the Group's balance sheet, we have concluded the sale of our stand alone London Bus business. I would like to take the opportunity of thanking all our Travel London employees for the very successful operation of the business during our ownership and for their outstanding contribution."
Notes to editors
The share sale includes 36 Transport for London (TfL) tendered bus routes in London, 30 Surrey County Council and Kingston University bus services, and all vehicles and premises used in the operation of the business. The 1,600 staff and management will all transfer to Ned Railways.
The National Express Travel London business came into operation in 2004, following the acquisition by National Express of the London bus business from Connex Bus. In 2005, the business was expanded further with the takeover of Tellings-Golden Miller's London bus operations, together with 15 Surrey County Council contracts. The business currently operates from six bus depots in Walworth, Battersea, Twickenham, Beddington, Hayes and Byfleet.
For further information, please contact:
National Express Group PLC
Jez Maiden, Group Finance Director - 020 7506 4324
Nicole Lander, Director of Communications - 0121 460 8401
Maitland (on behalf of National Express)
Neil Bennett or Suzanne Bartch - 020 7379 5151
Cameron Jones, Director Public Affairs - 07766 075 077 or 020 7430 8270