Major Bus operator Telfords has been named as surprise purchaser of Sydney based bus body builder Custom Buses Holdings Pty Ltd from the administrators.
Telfords is a medium size bus and coach fleet and few people saw the operation as even a player, let alone the winning bidder for the remnants of Custom.
Telfords is owned by the Dunn Group, A company which was only founded in In 2009 when Scott Dunn, established the group and started operating under the brand of yourbus in Nottingham, in the UK.
Dunn started with seven second hand buses and the UK operation quickly grew to more than 140 buses by 2013 operating on a mixture of local bus routes and Express coach services across the UK.
Dunn purchased Telfords in May 2014, on the basis that the company was looking for new opportunities outside the UK as a result of consolidation in the UK market following deregulation in the 80’s and 90’s which they say has resulted in limited growth potential there.
Since purchasing Telfords four years ago the Dunn has grown the fleet from 67 to 98 buses and now has purchased Custom, which represents an interesting diversification for the company.
Telfords officially bought the Custom business from Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants on 16 March with the administrators saying theTelfords offer provided the highest return to creditors and achieved the aim of saving the manufacturing business which was impoertant and integral to the Australian economy.
Custom Bus has been in business since 1955, building buses for the local transport market particularly targeting large public transport contracts. Custom has had a tough time in recent years in what is a high capital business with strong competition and tight margins. It will be interesting to see the strategy the new owners will employ to make Custom work long term