Bus company sale safeguards jobs

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Following hard on the heels of the announcement on Sunday that Western Greyhound has sold its Liskeard outstation operation to Go-Ahead subsidiary, Plymouth CityBus, Western Greyhound has announced the sale of the rest of the business in a deal that safeguards 133 jobs.

Michael Bishop, an entrepreneur from within the bus and coach industry, has purchased the entire share capital of Summercourt-based Western Greyhound from MD Mark Howarth, his wife Mari and Robin Orbell.

Bishop said: “I am so pleased that we were able to work with Mark and his team to purchase Western Greyhound.

“The company has a very exciting future ahead of it and will continue to be a well-respected local independent operator. We have identified areas of the business that would benefit from further development and investment to strengthen the commercial future of the company.”

Western Greyhound, which currently carries 2.7 million passengers a year in Cornwall and Devon, will continue with 65 buses and 133 employees from its freehold Summercourt depot, together with a small leased outstation at Wadebridge.

Bishop is appointed MD, and joined by Adam Smith as general manager.  Mark Howarth will carry on as a consultant to the business for a period of time due to his extensive experience and knowledge.

Western Greyhound was publicly put up for sale a couple of months ago.

Howarth said: “It is always sad to take the decision to sell a company that one has started and built up over a period of 16 years. However, we are all now in our sixties and it is time for new management and ideas to be introduced into the business.

“As a board, we were all keen to ensure that we sold Western Greyhound as a going concern and that the jobs of our hard-working and loyal staff could be protected. The decision to split the sale was because many staff wanted to see Western Greyhound return to a smaller, leaner and fitter operation.”

Financial terms for both deals have not been disclosed.

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