GO-AHEAD AT A CROSSROADS

With takeover by a Spanish-Australian consortium looking set to get the green light, ALAN MILLAR looks back at the 35-year story so far of Go-Ahead Group, which began as an NBC management buyout, considers what its new owners bring to the table and wonders what lies ahead at home and abroad

Go North West 3051 (BG66 WHZ), a Volvo B5LH with MCV EvoSeti body, at Shudehill Interchange in central Manchester. KRIS LAKE

With Go-Ahead Group’s shareholders set to approve its sale to a Spanish-Australian consortium on August 8, the latest chapter in the story of the privatised UK bus industry has just got a bit longer.

One by one, the City-listed PLCs that have dominated the industry for the past 30 years are being snapped up by foreign investors and de-listed from the stock exchange. First there was Stagecoach, acquired for £595million by Germanbased DWS to add to a substantial but significantly smaller bus business it already owned in Belgium.

After rejecting a £1.2billion offer from private equity company I Squared for its UK bus and rail business, FirstGroup left the door open for it to make a better offer.

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