SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro is acquiring Australian bus company Buslink for A$191 million (S$187 million) in the group's largest acquisition in the country to date, it announced in a media release on Monday (Nov 5).
The deal will be done through wholly owned subsidiary ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia and is subject to regulatory approval.
The latest acquisition will see ComfortDelGro operating in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, Western Australia, Canberra, Northern Territory and Queensland.
The purchase of Buslink, one of Australia’s largest privately owned bus businesses, is significant on two fronts, ComfortDelGro said.
"It provides ComfortDelGro with immediate access to the Northern Territory and Queensland – both of which are unchartered territories for the Group – and enables it to grow its existing bus operations in NSW and Victoria," the transport operator said.
This deal is also the latest in a series of new acquisitions undertaken by the company as it "re-engineers" itself, it said.
"Changes are taking place all around us and, with that, come opportunities," said Mr Lim Jit Poh, ComfortDelGro's chairman.
"To this end, we have embarked on a more aggressive investment strategy as can be seen from the fact that we have invested over S$450 million in the year to-date," he said, adding that the company has also moved into new related businesses like non-emergency patient services.
Buslink operates in eight locations across four Australian states, and has a large presence in the Northern Territory, servicing almost all of Darwin’s school services and approximately 70 per cent of the city's urban network.
ComfortDelGro first entered the Australian market in 2005, when it acquired the businesses and assets of Westbus Group, the largest bus operator in New South Wales.