Telford’s takeover

By: David Goeldner

A sad end has given way to a bright new start as Sydney operator Telford’s Bus & Coach has changed ownership

Telford’s takeover
Rob Rachwal, Scott Dunn and James Rachwal

Bus industry stalwarts Rob and James Rachwal have sold their Sydney-based family enterprise to UK operator Scott Dunn, with the transition completed on May 6.

Scott Dunn comes from a bus operations family in the United Kingdom having started his own business Dunn Motor Traction in 2009 a few years after the sale of his father’s company Dunn Line to Veolia in 2006.

Dunn trades in the UK as ‘Yourbus’, which operates in the deregulated British market, basing route service operations around Nottingham and Derby, with express coaches running between Edinburgh and London.

Head office for the UK operation is in Nottingham, and will continue as the centre of Dunn’s Yourbus enterprises, although Dunn and his family have relocated permanently to Sydney to manage and build Telford’s Bus & Coach.

Dunn will operate Telford’s Bus & Coach under a new business entity Dunn Group Australia Pty Ltd, acquiring the depot at Turrella in south Sydney, along with 68 vehicles and responsibility for 120 staff, whom mostly work on a casual basis.

During a visit to Australia in 2011, Dunn quickly took an interest in potentially starting bus operations in New South Wales.

Dunn Motor Traction was an unsuccessful bidder during the first tranche of Sydney bus contract tenders in 2012, but undaunted, Dunn continued his search to buy a bus operation in Australia.

Following the passing of former Telford’s Bus & Coach owner Benny Rachwal in October 2013, sons Rob and James considered the future of the business, and decided to sell.

Through a brokerage firm, the Rachwals were connected with Dunn.

"It was on our minds to sell the business and a broker put us in touch with Scott and it progressed from there," says Rob Rachwal.

Dunn will regularly travel back to the UK to keep an eye on the Nottingham business, but says he has left ‘good people’ in charge. 

The only significant personnel change at Telford's Bus & Coach will be the departure of Rob and James Rachwal, with all other Sydney staff remaining in the operation.

Dunn says he intends to grow the business, and look for more acquisitions in Australia.

The fleet mix may also change with Dunn’s ready access to the UK fleet, which run a mix of 2.5 metre and 2.55 metre wide vehicles, dominated by Mercedes-Benz.

Dunn says he looked at four business options before settling on the Telford’s operation at Turrella in south Sydney.

"I liked the feel of it, and the commitment of the staff – it felt right," says Dunn.


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