National Express agrees £65m Silicon Valley shuttle deal
National Express has snapped up a 60 per cent stake in a US-based employee shuttle company which serves many of the largest companies in Silicon Valley and the broader San Francisco Bay Area.
The Birmingham-headquartered transport operator, which runs bus services across the West Midlands, has acquired the shares in WeDriveU as part of a £64.5 million deal, and has an option to buy the remaining stake over the next three years.
As well as Silicon Valley, WeDriveU also has a presence in other US cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Portland, Denver and Austin.
The remaining WeDriveU shares are held by chairman and chief executive Dennis Carlson and the senior management team, who will remain in place.
National Express will now form a new shuttle division within its North American business, led by the WeDriveU management team, to drive expansion in the employee, university and hospital shuttle markets.
Dean Finch, chief executive of National Express Group, said: "I am delighted WeDriveU are joining National Express as part of our strategic acquisition programme.
"As the premier operator in Silicon Valley and the wider San Francisco Bay Area, WeDriveU provides the opportunity for expansion into a fast-growing market.
"WeDriveU also has a presence in other fast-growing cities in the US, which present other platforms for growth in this very attractive market.
"I am impressed with the growth Dennis has achieved in recent years and the whole business' commitment to safety and customer service, which mirrors our own.
"I look forward to working with Dennis and his team to achieve their exciting growth plans and exploit additional, complementary opportunities as part of National Express Group to deliver further value to our shareholders."
Mr Carlson added: "I am delighted to be joining National Express.
"We have grown our business significantly in recent years and plan to continue expanding into new markets, drawing on National Express' reputation for excellence and its extensive nationwide presence.
"I look forward to working with Dean and the team in this exciting next phase for our business."