National Express Group announced it signed a letter of intent to acquire Petermann Ltd., a $200 million deal that will increase overall market share for the second largest contractor in North America.
Durham School Services, the school bus arm for National Express operating in the United States, figures to grow by more than 3,300 school buses, a 23-percent total increase in fleet size to 20,000 buses across North America, according to a National Express spokesperson. She added that the deal, which is undergoing state and federal regulatory reviews, is expected to close within the next several months. Pete Settle, currently the CEO of Petermann (pictured above), said it was realistic to expect a closing date before the end of the calendar year.
National Express also owns and operates Stock Transportation in Canada.
Settle’s new role will be that of overseeing an as yet unamed new para-transit and transit arm of National Express. He described the service as access and mobility focused on providing non-emergency, medical transportation for the disabled and elderly. He also told School Transportation News he will be working closely with National Express executives over the next six months on a “careful integration of our business into the Durham business.”
David Duke, the CEO of National Express who took the reigns earlier this year, said Petermann is a “strategic fit” as it adds several new states to the company’s portfolio.
“The company’s focus on safety, people, customers and communities is absolutely aligned with our core values,” he added. “Our company is in a steady growth mode on the heels of a successful business recovery plan; we look forward to welcoming Petermann employees and customers into our growing family.”
Petermann is the market leader in its home state of Ohio and has operations across 10 states in the Midwest, West and Southwest.
National Express defines its core value focus on its website as safety, employees, customers and community. Settle added that the company has “remade” itself over the last several years, a move that aligned itself with the core values at Petermann.
“Obviously what’s always nice about a big company is they provide a lot of stability and diversity and opportunity for our people,” he added. “They’re focused on customers and employees. That has improved tremendously over the last few years.”