After months of uncertainty following the capitulation of Alexander-Dennis Ltd from their Australian operations, it has been announced that a consortium led by former owner Mark Burgess has bought the company back.
It was May 30th that ADL decided they had had enough and unceremoniously departed from Australian after calling in the administrators after less than two years of ownership.
Jobs were lost and unsecured creditors also lost out by ADL’s actions.
Custom issued this statement regarding the buy-back;
Consortium announces purchase of Custom Coaches from Administration
I have some great news to share with you regarding the sale of Custom Coaches today. Specialist funds manager Allegro Funds today announced it had completed the purchase of the business and assets of Custom Coaches Pty Ltd, previously in Administration, as part of a consortium led by former owner of the bus group, Mark Burgess.
Under the new ownership, Custom Bus Australia Pty Ltd will continue to operate from its Sydney manufacturing base, where it manufactures city and school buses and conducts servicing, repairs and refurbishments. Custom Care and the aftermarket business will also be maintained in Adelaide. Custom will continue to provide national coverage for parts and service.
Some 120 positions have been preserved following the sale agreement.
Commenting on the sale, Mr Burgess said: “This is a great step forward for Custom, which transitions to new and stable Australian ownership with no debt, strong cash reserves and a highly experienced management team backed by institutional investors. We look forward to a bright future with our customers, suppliers and staff.”
Backed by institutional investors including Australian superannuation funds, Allegro is an Australian fund manager investing primarily in private mid-market businesses within Australia and New Zealand, with more than $300 million in committed capital from investors.
Allegro Funds Founding Partner, Adrian Loader, has been appointed Chairman of Custom Bus Australia.
Mr Loader said: “We see tremendous potential in Custom and we are pleased that we were able to transact quickly in a distressed situation to ensure this business can continue building the best buses in Australia. Custom has a long and proud history in the bus industry, great staff and strong customer and supplier networks. It now has the benefit of stable financial backing and focused management. We look forward to supporting this new and successful phase for the business.”
Custom continues to be committed to the highest standards of quality and delivery performance for the Australian bus industry. We would like to thanks everyone who has supported Custom.
We look forward to continuing the great relationships we have with our customers and building new and stronger relationships in the future.
Custom will continue manufacturing the world class CB80 low floor city bus, and the SB50 school bus products (12.5m, midi, articulated, cargo variants), and we will have some exciting announcements in the near future regarding new products for the Australian market.
Custom Bus Australia Pty Ltd