Go-Ahead Group - Go-Ahead Group 1996/2010 Entering the Railway Sector - B

Go-Ahead Group - B
Go-Ahead Group 1996 – 2010
Go-Ahead Group Entering the Railway Sector
In October 1996, Go-Ahead entered the UK rail market when it commenced operating the Thames Trains franchise, which it ran until March 2004. The franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to Victory Rail Holdings, Go-Ahead owned 65% of the shares in Victory Rail Holdings with the remaining 35% held by some ex British Rail managers and employees. Go-Ahead bought the remaining shares it did not own in June 1998.
Also in 1996, Go-Ahead entered into the Govia joint venture with French company VIA-GTI (which later became Keolis), in order to bid for more UK rail franchises. Govia was 65% owned by Go-Ahead. Govia was awarded the Thameslink franchise, which it ran from March 1997 until March 2006.
During August 2001, Govia started running the South Central rail franchise. In October 2000, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority awarded Govia the South Central rail franchise with operations due to commence in May 2003 when the Connex South Central franchise expired. Govia negotiated a deal with Connex to buy out the remainder of its franchise.
Failed Takeover and Operations in Sweden
During July 2000, French government owned Caisse des Dépts-Développement (C3D) submitted a bid to purchase Go-Ahead, this offer, which was valued at £326 million, was promptly rejected by the company. A hostile takeover bid was issued by C3D one month later, it was declared to be "unwelcome" by Go-Ahead chairman Sir Frederick Holliday.
Go-Ahead pledged to fight for its independence and promoted its expansion plans to shareholders to persuade them to back the existing management team. C3D sought to integrate Go-Ahead with its Transdev S.A. bus and light rail operator. In October 2000, C3D's takeover effort came to nought.
For a short time, Go-Ahead entered into two joint ventures with VIA-GTI and BK Tåg to operate rail services in Sweden. Go-Ahead had a 39% stake in City Pendeln AB which was to operate the Citypendeln commuter rail business in Stockholm. Go-Ahead also had a 29% stake in Sydvasten AB which operated rail services between Gothenburg and Malmö. Go-Ahead decided to exit from both ventures in May 2000.
Wycombe Bus Company was sold to Arriva in December 2000.
Expansion into the Midlands and the South
In August 2003, the Wilts & Dorset bus business was purchased. In June 2005 Solent Blue Line and Southern Vectis were purchased. In September 2005, the Lewes and Seaford operations of Stagecoach South were acquired and integrated into the Brighton & Hove business.
During December 2005, Go-Ahead purchased The Birmingham Coach Company, which operated express coaches under contract for National Express and local bus services in the West Midlands under the Diamond Bus name. Go-Ahead had been known for some time to be keen to begin operating in the area. In February 2006, another operator in the West Midlands, Probus Management, trading as People's Express, was purchased.
In August 2006, the Birmingham Coach Company (trading as Diamond Bus) and Probus operations were regrouped under the Go West Midlands Limited legal entity, with the bus operations branded as Diamond in the West Midlands. In February 2006, the Hants & Dorset Trim bus refurbishment business was purchased. In April 2006, the Govia joint venture commenced operating the South Eastern franchise as Southeastern.
During September 2006, Docklands Buses was acquired and integrated into Go-Ahead London, followed in October 2006 by Marchwood Motorways which was integrated into Go South Coast.
In June 2007, Blue Triangle was acquired and integrated into Go-Ahead London. In September 2007, Northumbria Coaches was purchased and integrated into Go North East, followed by Stanley Buses (the bus service subsidiary of Stanley Taxis) in October 2007, and Redby Buses in January 2008. In November 2007, Govia began operating the London Midland rail franchise. In December 2007, the Orpington services of First London were acquired.
In February 2008, Go-Ahead sold Go West Midlands to Rotala's Central Connect, two years after purchasing the company. In June 2008, the Gatwick Express rail service was incorporated into Southern. In October 2009, East Thames Buses was acquired and integrated into Go-Ahead London as well as the Horsham operations of Arriva Southern Counties that were integrated into Metrobus. In December 2009, Plymouth Citybus was purchased from Plymouth City Council. In March 2010, Konectbus in Norfolk was purchased as well as the Hexham operations of Arriva North East and integrated into Go North East.
American Operations
In August 2010, Go-Ahead America, a joint venture with Cook Illinois in which Go-Ahead held a 50% stake, commenced operating a yellow school bus contract in St Louis, Missouri. In July 2014, Go-Ahead exited the United States following the loss of its yellow bus contract.
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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