North America’s largest coach and bus manufacturer, NFI Group, has spent $AUD 583 million (£320million) to acquire British bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis Limited.

, has been acquired by Inc. (NFI), NFI acquired ADL for, representing an implied purchase multiple of 7.3 x ADL’s fiscal year 2018 adjusted EBITDA. 

NFI  says  that ADL will retain its own brand and current CEO Colin Robertson, who has led the growth and internationalisation of the company for more than 10 years, and CFO, Michael Stewart, will continue to lead ADL

and have been tasked with ‘driving NFI’s international growth ambitions.’

ADL employs more than 2,500 people and is headquartered in  the Scottish city of Falkirk. The company claims there are more than 31,000 ADL vehicles in service around the globe and has has operations in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

NFI employees more than 6,300 people at facilities across Canada and the United States, and has 74,000 vehicles in service. 

NFI operates under the brands, New Flyer (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI (motor coaches), and NFI Parts (parts, support and service).

ADL and NFI were in a joint venture in North America between 2012 to 2017, which saw NFI build and sell the Enviro200 as the MiDi. Approximately 200 of the buses were sold in Canada and the USA.

 The joint venture was described as ‘a great learning experience for both ADL and NFI’ and one that laid the foundation for the transaction.

NFI said: “ADL’s Enviro200 vehicle was well received by customers, but due to challenges of margin sharing, UK engineering and US manufacturing, dealer network, plus start-up costs to establish the product’s brand in North America – it was difficult to sell the vehicles at a competitive price and still make a margin.”

ADL continues to sell the Enviro200 in North America. NFI said it sees the vehicle as complimentary to the ARBOC Equess, and having both in its portfolio would provide a good opportunity to continue to enhance NFI’s North American platform.

ADL CEO, Colin Robertson, said  the company was incredibly proud of the growth and success they’ve had building Alexander Dennis over the past 15 years.

 “I’m excited to have the ADL team join NFI – one great bus company joining another,” he said.

“We believe our consolidated businesses will enhance NFI’s market leading position in North America, while improving NFI’s offering through combined engineering expertise, supplier partnerships, electric vehicle know-how and aftermarket platforms. I look forward to continuing our solid progress at ADL and championing further international growth for NFI in coordination with Paul and his leadership team,” he added.

NFI’s president and CEO, Paul Soubry, said the acquisition is  transformational for NFI  and will enable it to become a global bus manufacturer.

“ADL is the UK’s number one bus manufacturer and the number one global producer of double-decker buses, with an established international presence and is recognised as a leader known for innovative products and a commitment to quality and service,” Soubry said.

“We’re thrilled to have ADL join the NFI family in a transaction that we believe will drive our business forward by combining joint strengths in engineering, sales, new product development and manufacturing with NFI’s expertise in operational excellence, insourcing, fabrication and systems management,” he added.