Comfort-DelGro buys second bus charter firm in three months

Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp is acquiring the private bus chartering assets of local bus operator Ric-Tat Travel & Coach Services and its associated companies for $6.45 million.

The acquisition, which will be conducted through wholly owned subsidiary ComfortDelGro Bus, will include existing charter contracts, 72 buses and associated drivers.

It comes just three months after a similar deal, where ComfortDelGro bought AZ Bus - another local operator - for $10.25 million.

Upon completion of the latest deal, ComfortDelGro Bus will have a fleet of 370 buses and a staff strength of 374. Including subcontractors' buses, the total fleet will comprise about 530 buses.

ComfortDelGro Bus, which also operates premium bus services and shuttle bus services for industrial parks, shopping malls, educational institutions and condominiums, is Singapore's largest private bus charter operator. It recently secured a 10-year Shell Eastern Petroleum contract to provide bus transportation services in Bukom and is also the longest running shuttle bus operator for the National University of Singapore - operating the service since 2001.

ComfortDelGro Corp chief executive Yang Ban Seng said yesterday: "We are confident of the growth outlook of the private bus charter industry. As a group, we aim to scale up organically or by acquisitions - both locally and overseas. This latest acquisition by ComfortDelGro Bus underpins our commitment to the unscheduled bus business which is a growing revenue source for the group."

Upon completion of the latest deal, ComfortDelGro Bus will have a fleet of 370 buses and a staff strength of 374. Including subcontractors' buses, the total fleet will comprise about 530 buses.

Ric-Tat was established in 2000 and operates private charter and tour bus services. Its customers include American and Japanese multinational corporations and local enterprises from the semiconductor, manufacturing, construction, oil & gas, education and leisure & hospitality industries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2018, with the headline 'Comfort-DelGro buys second bus charter firm in three months'. Print Edition | Subscribe