Mobico Group - A

Mobico Group - A
Mobico Group, formerly National Express Group, is a British multinational public transport company with headquarters in Birmingham, England. It operates bus, coach, train and tram services in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland (National Express operates Eurolines in conjunction with Bus Éireann), United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Germany, Bahrain, and Morocco and long-distance coach services across Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
National Express Group History
National Express Group Early Years
In 1972, the state-owned National Bus Company decided to bring together the scheduled coach services operated by its bus operating companies in the United Kingdom under one brand. Sir Frederick Wood, a prominent businessman and industrialist, was asked to oversee the creation of this new business model and led the group as its chairman from 1972 to 1978. Initially branded as National, the National Express brand was first used in 1974.
With the privatisation of the National Bus Company in the 1980s, National Express was subject to a management buyout in March 1988. The management team pursued various means of diversification, during 1989, the company purchased Crosville Wales.
National Express Group 1990s
  • Starting in early 1990s, National Express' financial performance began to deteriorate, this led to a new management team taking over the company in July 1991 which had the backing of ECI Partners, a mid-market private equity firm. The new team refocused the group on its core activities, leading to the sale of Crosville Wales to British Bus. During October 1991, it purchased Speedlink, an operator of coach services between Gatwick and Heathrow Airports. In December 1992, National Express Group plc was floated on the London Stock Exchange.
  • In 1993, Scottish Citylink, Eurolines and East Midlands Airport were acquired. During April 1995, National Express purchased West Midlands Travel, the formerly council-owned bus network of Birmingham and the West Midlands, it was rebranded Travel West Midlands in September 1996. This move began the brand family of Travel ... local bus operations. Bournemouth Airport was acquired in April 1995.
  • During April 1996, National Express commenced operating its first UK railway franchises, Gatwick Express and Midland Mainline. One year later, three other franchises were awarded, these being Silverlink, Central Trains and ScotRail. To comply with a Monopolies & Mergers Commission ruling on it winning the ScotRail franchise, National Express sold the Scottish Citylink operation to Metroline in August 1998.
  • In February 1997, Taybus Public Transport was acquired and rebranded Travel Dundee.
  • During September 1998, Crabtree-Harmon, the seventh-largest student transportation bus company in the United States was acquired, with 82 school bus contracts mainly in Missouri, but also in other Midwest states including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah. During February 1999, Robinson Bus Service was purchased, it was followed in August 1999 by Durham Transportation. These acquisitions placed National Express as one of the top three United States school bus operators.
  • In May 1999, National Express purchased Australia's largest private bus operator, National Bus Company. National Bus Company had bus operations in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and also held a 57% shareholding in Westbus, Sydney's largest bus operator. Westbus also had a London coach operation. In August 1999, National Express was awarded the M>Train, M>Tram and V/Line Passenger rail franchises in the Australian state of Victoria.
National Express Group 2000s
  • During January 2000, National Express expanded into the American market by acquiring ATC, a public transportation operator. In July 2000, Prism Rail was purchased, though which the c2c, Wales & Borders, Wessex Trains and West Anglia Great Northern franchises were added to National Express' portfolio.
  • In December 2002, National Express handed in its rail franchises in Victoria, Australia, having been unable to renegotiate financial terms with the State Government.
  • During February 2004, the London bus operations of Connex were purchased and rebranded Travel London. In April 2004, National Express East Anglia commenced operating the Greater Anglia rail franchise. In September 2004, National Express sold its Melbourne bus operations to Ventura Bus Lines, and Brisbane and Perth bus operations to Connex. After being placed in administration in January 2005, Westbus was sold to ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in August 2005.
  • In June 2005, the London bus arm of Tellings-Golden Miller was purchased by National Express, after which it was rebranded as Travel London. During July 2005, National Express sold ATC to Connex. In October 2005, the company agreed to buy most of the operations of privately owned Spanish transport operator ALSA, which operates bus and coach services in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, and long-distance coach services to other parts of Europe. Alsa's operations in South America and China were retained by the previous owners
  • In April 2007, National Express acquired Continental Auto, the second-largest bus and coach operator in Spain.
  • During November 2007, South East England coach operator The Kings Ferry was purchased and an airport to hotel shuttle service in London branded Dot2Dot was launched. Dot2Dot did not prove to be commercially viable and thus ceased operations in November 2008.
  • In November 2007, National Express announced plans to re-brand all of their operations under a new unified National Express identity. It was intended to achieve greater recognition for all the group companies, to coincide with recent acquisitions and after current rail operations had improved in reliability to warrant association with the established express coach image. It coincided with the appointment of a group director for all UK operations and relocation of the head office from London to Birmingham, bringing all operations under a single strategic management structure. Day-to-day management remained within individual companies.
  • During February 2007, the Department for Transport announced that National Express, along with Arriva, First, and Virgin Rail Group, had been shortlisted to lodge bids for the InterCity East Coast franchise. In August 2007, the Department for Transport awarded the Intercity East Coast franchise to National Express, leading to the creation of National Express East Coast (NXEC) shortly thereafter.
Under the terms of its franchise agreement, National Express committed to paying a £1.4-billion premium to the Department of Transport over a time span of seven years and four months. However, numerous rail analysts promptly voiced concerns that the company had paid too much for the franchise, and had effectively repeated GNER's mistake in order to secure the franchise. On 9 December 2007, National Express East Coast commenced operations, taking over from Great North Eastern Railway.
  • In May 2009, National Express sold Travel London and Travel Surrey to Abellio.
Mobico Group Overview
Mobico Group Formerly: National Express Group
Mobico Group Type: Public limited
Mobico Group Traded As: LSE: MCG
Mobico Group Industry: Public transport
Founded 1972: National Express branding
Mobico Group 1992: National Express Group plc
Mobico Group Founder: National Bus Company
Headquarters: Birmingham, England
Mobico Group Area Served:
North America
Mobico Group Key People:
Helen Weir
Ignacio Garat
(Group Chief Executive)
Mobico Group Services:
Mobico Group Revenue Increase: £2,807.5 million (2022)
Mobico Group Operating Income: Increase £197.3 million (2022)
Mobico Group Net Income: Decrease £(220.7) million (2022)
Mobico Group Number of Employees: 44,500 (2023)
Mobico Group Subsidiaries: Clarkes of London
The Kings Ferry
Lucketts Travel
National Express Coaches
National Express Coventry
National Express Germany
National Express West Midlands
Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
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