SEALINK BUYS WA BUS OPERATOR GO WEST

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Go West + BDO


BREAKING: Bunbury, Western Australia, based integrated transport provider Go West - established and run by venerable bus industry family the Haousts - has “agreed to a deal with potential consideration in excess of $100 million” in its sale to the Sealink Travel Group.

SEALINK BUYS WA BUS OPERATOR GO WEST
“With the support of Sealink, Go West will continue to grow well into the future,” said Go West founder and director Stan Haoust.

Go West, with lead adviser BDO Mergers and Acquisitons, negotiated the sale of the successful, home-grown Australian bus operator best known for bus and coach transport particularly in the mining resources field.

The operator began in 1981 with a single bus and grew to become one of Western Australia’s pre-eminent specialty providers of charter, rental and tour vehicles to the resources and public transit sectors, filling more than 500,000 seats monthly, BDO explains.

Go West’s expansion is the result of its clever uptake of cutting-edge technology – including innovative fatigue management and asset monitoring systems – and rigorous focus on top-tier resource client service throughout the years, BDO adds.

Forging close ties to the booming West Australian resources market, Go West’s established regional infrastructure in key mining hubs - including Port Hedland, Newman and Karratha - made the family owned company an attractive prospect for Sealink Travel Group, complementing its portfolio of world-class transit providers, BDO states.

Stan and Dave Haoust (1).jpg

Inspecting buses (2).jpg

CONTINUED GROWTH

"With the support of Sealink, Go West will continue to grow well into the future," said Go West founder and director Stan Haoust.

"As fellow operators supporting the resources sector, Sealink will enable Go West to continue to tackle bigger projects and, importantly, Sealink aligns with Go West’s ethos which is ‘family spirit’, ‘frugality’, ‘adaptiveness’, ‘innovation and safety," Haoust explained.

Sealink is Australia’s largest integrated transport provider, moving more than 206 million customers per year, it states. Its holdings include Captain Cook Cruises, Sealink Rottnest Ferries and Swan Transit – largely responsible for Perth’s urban bus network.

The acquisition - valued at 5.3x normalised LTM EBITDA, confirms BDO - will see the existing management team retained, including director David Haoust.

"Go West has valuable contract counterparties and delivers an essential service for these clients," said Sealink Group chief executive officer Clint Feuerherdt.

"The operations of Go West were unaffected by the pandemic and continued at near 100 per cent levels throughout, keeping their communities and worksites connected," he added.

GO WEST SALE.jpg

Above (L-R): Tony Chong (Squire Patton Boggs), Blair Strickland (Squire Patton Boggs) Mark Karlson (BDO), Stan Haoust (Go West), David Haost (Go West), Todd Grover (BDO).

Dave and Stan Haoust (1).jpg

THE ADVISERS

BDO’s Perth Mergers and Acquisitions team advised Go West on all aspects of the transaction, while Sealink was advised by Gresham in Sydney. The Perth-based BDO M&A team predict more mining services deals to come, it says.

"Australia’s buoyant economy and strong industry growth will see significant interest and further sales of Western Australian mining services businesses to local and international buyers," said Todd Grover, lead BDO partner on the transaction.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook