Go-Ahead Group - A

Go-Ahead Group - A
The Go-Ahead Group plc is a passenger transport company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The majority of its operations are within the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, Norway, and Germany. Go-Ahead was formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange prior to being purchased by Kinetic Group and Globalvia by 2022.
The Go-Ahead Group was originally founded in February 1987 as Go-Ahead Northern Limited as part of the wider privatisation of the National Bus Company. Early expansion centred around the acquisition of several smaller competing bus operators in North East England and operating as a subcontractor to National Express, during the early 1990s, the Brighton & Hove, Oxford Bus Company, and London Central were all acquired. During May 1994, Go-Ahead was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
In October 1996, Go-Ahead entered the UK railway sector via the operation of the Thames Trains franchise. Via the Govia joint venture, it bid for additional rail franchises in Britain, securing the Thameslink and later the Southeastern and London Midland operations. During mid 2000, the French state-owned enterprise Caisse des Dépts-Développement (C3D) attempted a hostile takeover of Go-Ahead, which was successfully opposed by its management team.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Go-Ahead diversified into ground handling services at various British airports via the acquisition of Gatwick Handling International, British Midland, and Reed Aviation. During 2010, Go-Ahead disposed of its airport-based operations, the majority being sold to Dnata UK and Servisair. During the early 2010s, Go-Ahead acquired numerous other British transport companies, including Thames Travel, Carousel Buses, Hedingham, Anglian Bus, and HC Chambers & Son.
During late 2015, it was contracted to operate bus and rail services in Germany and Singapore, in subsequent years, Go-Ahead also expanded into Ireland and Norway. On 28 September 2021, Britain's Department for Transport terminated Go-Ahead's Southeastern franchise after the discovery of financial misconduct. During August 2022, a consortium of Australia's Kinetic Group (51%) and Spain's Globalvia (49%) took over Go-Ahead, having valued the company at £669 million. During January 2023, it was announced that Go-Ahead was expanding into the Australian market via the U-Go Mobility joint venture with the engineering company UFL.
Go-Ahead Group History
Go-Ahead Group Incorporation
The Go-Ahead Group was originally founded as Go-Ahead Northern Limited on 17 February 1987 as a consequence of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, during which a partial management buyout led by Martin Ballinger and Chris Moyes purchased its Gateshead-based northern division, known as the Northern General Transport Company.
Early expansion of the company involved the acquisition of several smaller competing bus operators in North East England, such as Gypsy Queen in 1989 and Low Fell Coaches in June 1992. Go-Ahead Northern also became a subcontractor to National Express, operating services to the Midlands, North East, North West and South West England. Around the same time, Go-Ahead Leisure purchased a number of pubs, which were sold on during February 1996.
Despite bidding for a number of other larger bus operators in the intervening period, Go-Ahead's first major acquisition was Brighton & Hove in November 1993, followed by the Oxford Bus Company and Wycombe Bus Company in March 1994. In May 1997, the Brighton & Hove operation expanded with the acquisition of the former municipal operator Brighton Transport. During September 1999, Metrobus, a large operator operating in London, Surrey and Sussex was acquired.
Go-Ahead Group Floatation and into London
Initially, Go-Ahead was structured as an unlisted public company and was owned 90 percent by its management. In May 1994, it was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
In October 1994, Go-Ahead purchased London Central during the privatisation of London Buses. In March 1995, OK Motor Services was purchased and integrated into the Go North East operation. In June 1996, a second London bus operation, London General, was acquired from the management team that had purchased it when privatised.
Go-Ahead Group Airport Services
In October 1998, Go-Ahead diversified with the acquisition of Gatwick Handling International, a provider of ground handling services at UK airports. Go-Ahead acquired the ground handling operations of British Midland and Midland Airport Services in March 2001, followed by Reed Aviation in August 2001. All these operations, including at Gatwick, all were rebranded as Aviance.
In May 2002, Go-Ahead diversified again, acquiring airport-focused Meteor Parking. Included in the purchase of Gatwick Handling International in 1998 was a 50% shareholding in Plane Handling, and in August 2004 Go-Ahead purchased the remaining 50% from Virgin Aviation. In December 2006 Gatwick Airport parking operator PAS was purchased and integrated into Meteor Parking, followed by security provider Nikaro in February 2007.
In January 2010, Go-Ahead disposed of most of its airport-based operations via a sale to Dnata UK and Servisair. In September 2010, Meteor Parking was sold to Vinci SA, bringing Go-Ahead's involvement in the aviation support industry to a close.
Go-Ahead Group Overview
Go-Ahead Group Type: Subsidiary
Go-Ahead Group Traded As: LSE: GOG
Go-Ahead Group Industry: Public transport
Go-Ahead Group Founded: 17 February 1987, 36 years ago
Go-Ahead Group Headquarters: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Go-Ahead Group Area Served:
United Kingdom
Go-Ahead Group Key People:
Clare Hollingsworth (Chairman)
Christian Schreyer (Group Chief Executive)
Go-Ahead Group Products: Bus and rail services
Go-Ahead Group Revenue Increase: £4,058.5 million (2021)
Go-Ahead Group Operating Income: Increase £115.5 million (2021)
Go-Ahead Group Net Income: Increase £(40.7) million (2021)
Go-Ahead Group Number of Employees: 30,573 (2021)
Go-Ahead Group Parent: Kinetic Group (51%)
Globalvia (49%)
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