NZ bus merger


New Zealand inter-city coach providers servicing the north and south join forces

NZ bus merger
New Zealand inter-city coach company ManaBus has purchased Naked Bus

Two New Zealand inter-city coach companies will merge after significant a buyout.

The Naked Bus is popular among students and tourists travelling between Christchurch and Dunedin, while ManaBus is a key inter-city provider linking Auckland and Wellington.

Souter Holdings Limited spokesperson Brian Souter says the ManaBus acquisition of South-Island based Naked Bus is an exciting development.

"The future is bright for the combined operation with eleven new buses due to arrive before the end of the year," he says.

"This includes five bespoke double-deckers being built by Tauranga based Kiwi Bus Builders as well as six specialty coaches to serve shorter routes.

"It gives us the opportunity to extend our services across New Zealand and bring our value for money fares to many more people."

ManaBus.com services mostly Auckland and Wellington and is part of the Souter Holdings group.

Combined holdings now include Howick Buses, Eastern Buses, Mana Coach Services and Waiheke Bus Company, as well as ferry providers Fullers Group and 360 Discovery.

These public transport providers carry more than 13 million customers a year among them.

Naked Bus chief executive Hamish Nuttall will be managing director of the combined company and Souter says he is the right man to steer the ship.

"His innovative mind, industry experience and knowledge of the NZ coach business network will be a real asset to the team," Souter says.

"Together we expect to carry over a million passengers a year.

"Customers of both services can expect to see a continuation of the great value for money fares they have come to know and love."

Souter is confident the company will contribute to the tourism sector, as well as servicing locals.

"We hope to continue to grow the market and boost tourism in the towns and cities we serve."

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