A Lynn-based bus company has been sold to a major national firm, it has been announced this morning, Wednesday December 18.
The purchase of Norfolk Green, which has provided bus services across West Norfolk for almost 20 years, by Stagecoach Bus Holdings Ltd was confirmed to the London Stock Exchange a short time ago.
Managing director Ben Colson said: “Our decision to sell was not taken easily but it follows a period of ill health during the Summer and early Autumn.
“Over the years we have built a strong brand in the area with a much larger network of bus routes, attracted new customers to using the bus, and we have increased employment.
“The company goes forward into new hands in good shape, and will benefit from being owned by a major transport company.”
Formed in 1994, and bought by its current owners two years later, the firm currently runs around 70 buses and employs 160 people.
Last year, more than 4.5 million passengers travelled on its routes and the company was named Independent Operator of the Year last month. It was previously named UK Bus Operator of the Year in 2010.
Stagecoach already runs more than 300 buses and employs over 900 people across East Anglia.
Managers say they have leased depot and bus station facilities in Lynn, as well as a number of small out-station facilities on short-term let arrangements.
Robert Montgomery, the managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: “Norfolk Green is an award-winning, high-quality bus operator. The business is well-run and has been successful in attracting more people to the benefits of bus travel
“The acquisition will allow us to expand our operations in the east of England, where we have achieved good passenger growth by focusing on good value fares, investing in our networks and delivering punctual and reliable services.
“Our people are central to our growth plans and we are delighted to welcome our new employees to the business.”