Skybus Operator Acquires Transit Australia Group
The AATS Group, the owner and operator of SkyBus airport transit bus services, handling transportation like Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle across the AU, has recently become one of the country’s biggest bus operators following their acquisition of the Transit Australia Group, the Queensland and NSW multi-service company, announced early March.
AATS Group purchased TAG in an undisclosed amount, not including Bustech. This means that AATS Group that’ll get the employees of TAG, more than 1600, with more than 630 buses throughout Queensland and New South Wales. There are rumors swirling around that the transaction is valued at AUD$200 million, but there have been no confirmations.
Bustech, notably, is the Australia’s only advanced bus original equipment manufacturer, with the bus chassis designed, engineered, and made, all in-house. Sources from the company confirmed that Bustechisn’t part of the AATS-TAG deal.
TAG handles government-contacted metropolitan routes, school routes, regional routes, general charters, shuttles like Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, and event bus services. The purchase by the AATS Group was contractually agreed following a sales process run by UBS on behalf of the vendors.
Following finalization, this made AATS Group one of the largest bus operators in Australia, building on their operation of SkyBus, which handles more than 5 million travelers annually, on 15 routes to five airports across Australia and New Zealand.
TAG released an official statement on the transaction, saying that the shareholders of Transit Australia Group, which they describe as a ‘mobility specialist’, announced an agreed for the sale of the business to the Australian/NZ bus operator AATS Group, owner of SkyBus, Australasia’s premiere airport mass transit system.
The report notes how the sale of TAG represents the largest ever bus transaction in Australia’s history, and covers several leading urban mass transit companies, namely, Surfside Buslines and Sunbus, the former of which handle bus services across the northern regions of NSW, the Gold Coast, while the latter handles Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville, and Rockhampton.
OPTrust, a Canadian pension fund owns AATS and its senior management. Notably, it is one of the largest public pension plans in the country, with approximately AU$20 billion worth of assets under management.