SEALINK ACQUIRES TRANSIT SYSTEMS BUSES IN AUD$635 MILLION DEAL

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Transit Systems


TOURISM AND TRANSPORT company SeaLink Travel Group will purchase Transit Systems Group, Australia’s largest private operator of metropolitan public bus services - and with bus operations in London and Singapore, it’s reported recently.

SEALINK ACQUIRES TRANSIT SYSTEMS BUSES IN AUD$635 MILLION DEAL
Transit Systems CEO Clint Feuerherdt said both SeaLink and Transit Systems Group had developed market-leading positions in their respective sectors.

In a move set to make SeaLink a world-class juggernaut in multi-modal passenger transport solutions, the purchase price incorporates an enterprise value of AUD$635 million plus an earn-out component of up to AUD$63 million.

The acquisition will create Australia’s leading integrated land and marine passenger transport business with enhanced scale and capabilities to competitively deliver services under government contracts, the company states.

Transit Systems is Australia’s only multi-national public transport business, with metropolitan bus contracts in five states, as well as London and Singapore.

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SeaLink is an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed company with a market capitalisation of approximately AUD$375 million. This is expected to grow following SeaLink’s equity raising announced today on the Australian Securities Exchange and the completion of the acquisition, the companies state.

Once the sale has been completed, the combined group will have more than 8,000 employees and operate more than 3,200 buses and 78 ferries in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, London and Singapore, Transit Systems confirms. The deal is the largest in SeaLink’s history and is expected to be finalised by early 2020.

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ROLE SHAKE-UP

As a result of the deal, Transit Systems Group chief executive officer Clint Feuerherdt will replace the retiring SeaLink chief executive officer Jeff Ellison, it’s reported.

The acquisition is being funded through a combination of cash and a new share issue to the Transit Systems Group vendors, to be approved by SeaLink shareholders. Following completion, the Transit Systems Group vendors will become substantial shareholders in SeaLink.

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SeaLink’s current CEO Jeff Ellison said: "The announcement today represents the start of SeaLink’s next phase of growth as an integrated multi-modal passenger services provider."

"It will be transformational for us and provides us with the opportunity for significant international expansion using established businesses in Singapore and London.

"This has already opened the door for us to tender for new ferry operations in Singapore and London," Ellison said.

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Feuerherdt said both SeaLink and Transit Systems Group had developed market-leading positions in their respective sectors.

"SeaLink Travel Group and Transit Systems Group have a similar history, with a shared vision to create and deliver world-class transport solutions to passengers," he said.

"The new arrangement brings together the nation’s best tourism transport company with a globally recognised public transport company, to deliver comprehensive and integrated network planning solutions with extensive, and unparalleled local network knowledge.

"I see significant opportunities for the combined group to target integrated multi-modal passenger transport contracts across the public and private sectors."

Ellison will remain in an executive position until the acquisition is finalised and will then stay on as a non-executive director.

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ABOUT SEASLINK

SeaLink Travel Group is one of Australia’s most dynamic travel companies, bringing Australia’s best tourism and transport experiences to the world, it states.

With more than 1,600 staff across the country, it delivers services to more than 7 million customers annually.

With a vessel fleet of 78 and a coach fleet of 76 vehicles, the Adelaide-based company has undergone a remarkable period of growth, emerging as a significant player on the national tourism and transport scene, it states.

SeaLink successfully listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in October 2013 (ASX: SLK).

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ABOUT TRANSIT SYSTEMS

Transit Systems Group - which comprises Transit Systems Australia and Tower Transit Group - is a passenger transport group operating in the bus segment, moving 344 million people globally each year, it states.

Transit Systems Group currently operates approximately 3,129 buses across 40 contracts in Australia, London and Singapore on behalf regional Group overview governments and authorities. Transit Systems is Australia’s largest private operator of metropolitan public bus services, it states.

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