ComfortDelGro to buy bus charter firm AZ Bus for $10.25 million

The purchase of AZ Bus will be done by ComfortDelGro's chartering arm ComfortDelGro Bus. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp will acquire the assets of home-grown private bus charter firm AZ Bus for $10.25 million.

In a statement on Tuesday (April 10), ComfortDelGro said the purchase will be done by its chartering arm ComfortDelGro Bus, and will include AZ Bus' 94 buses and existing charter contracts, as well as the transfer of drivers.

When completed, it will increase ComfortDelGro Bus' fleet to 300 buses, reinforcing its position as Singapore's largest bus charter business.

AZ Bus, established in 1985 as Yeo Keng Sin Transport Service, operates private charter, school bus and tour bus services. Its customers include American, Japanese and South Korean multinational corporations as well as local enterprises from the semiconductor, manufacturing, construction, oil and gas, and leisure and hospitality sectors.

ComfortDelGro Bus, which also operates premium bus services and shuttle bus services for industrial parks, shopping malls, educational institutions and condominiums, recently secured a 10-year contract to provide bus transportation services in Pulau Bukom for Shell Eastern Petroleum.

ComfortDelGro group chief executive Yang Ban Seng said: "Private charter continues to see strong growth thanks to corporate hire and large ad hoc events. With this acquisition, we will be able to leverage on size and scale as we bid for even more contracts."

The development came just a day after the listed company announced its purchase of National Patient Transport, a provider of non-emergency patient transportation services in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, for A$30 million ($30.4 million).

The purchase represents a new business foray for ComfortDelGro, one of the world's largest land transport companies with a total fleet size of more than 42,500 buses, taxis and rental vehicles. It has operations in China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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