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Transdev aquires Blazefield Group

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BLAZEFIELD has been acquired by French-owned group Transdev in a deal that will take the combined fleet to more than 1,200 vehicles.

Blazefield shareholders Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde are staying with the company and will be chief executive and managing director respectively of Blazefield Group. Transdev’s Charlie Beaumont becomes Blazefield Group chairman.

“Blazefield is a company that we have admired for some time,” says Beaumont. “Crucially, what this deal allows us to do is marry quality with quality by taking the best of Transdev and the best of Blazefield.

“We don’t see it as simply buying the business in terms of buses and premises - we are interested in the whole of Blazefield and what has made it a stand-out performer and innovator in UK buses. This includes Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde and the management team and staff that work with them. It is the depth of quality throughout the organisation which has given the Blazefield Group a real advantage in an extremely competitive sector and it is this quality which we intend to maintain.”


Giles Fearnley adds: “We have great admiration for the way that Transdev operates in the UK. This will be a really positive development for the Blazefield staff and services and will enable us to go from strength to strength.

“We intend to stay with the business and neither of us will be walking away from the great operation and people that work for Blazefield and have been instrumental in our success.”

Transdev’s UK operations comprise London United, London Sovereign (which it acquired earlier from Blazefield), Bournemouth Transport as well as an 18 per cent stake in Nottingham City Transport. It also operates the Nottingham Express Transit jointly with NCT and is involved in the forthcoming Edinburgh tram system.

Globlly Transdev carries more than one billion passengers a year in 100 local transport networks across France, Australia, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Its total UK turnover in 2004 was £152.4 million; global turnover was €1,327 million.

Blazefield operates just over 300 vehicles across its operating companies - Burnely & Pendle, Harrogate & District, Keighley & District, Lancashire United and Yorkshire Coastliner. The company is recognised as a renowned innovator and has invested heavily in premium vehicles for dedicated routes such as the leather-seated Wrightbus double-decks on the 36 in Harrogate and The Witches Way, Pendle.

www.transdevplc.co.uk

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