Monday, June 23, 2008

News: Yorkshire bus manufacturer sold again


The owner of Leeds-based bus maker Optare has been sold to Blackburn coachbuilder Darwen Holdings in a £16m deal. The group was acquired by Jamesstan Investments in March and has their head office and primary bus manufacturing facility in Leeds. The second manufacturing facility, Optare Rotherham, is located at Hellaby near the M18. The Rotherham site also includes a fully equipped UK Service Centre operated by Optare's after-sales division Unitec. Both Optare and Darwen have been developing low emmission buses and Darwen intends to raise £16m through the issue of 40 million placing shares at the placing price of 40p. Chief Executive Andrew Brian said: “Optare, a brand synonymous with top quality service and market-leading products, complements Darwen’s existing strong market position; this deal is fantastic news for our investors and builds on Darwen’s strategic progress to date. I am delighted at the level of institutional support, which endorses the strategy we set out when we floated in February. We are excited about building a stronger and more competitive business, to capitalise on the opportunity to deliver market-leading hybrid public transport solutions and to deliver great results for our customers, business partners and employees.”


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