May 25, 2023
Australian Bus Operator Ventura Group Exploring Sale, Sources Say
(Bloomberg) -- Ventura Group, a closely held Australian bus company, is considering a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Melbourne-based firm, which describes itself as the largest bus operator in the state of Victoria, has held discussions with financial advisers about a deal, said the people. A sale could value the family-owned company in the hundreds of millions of Australian dollars, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are confidential.
Deliberations are at an early stage and Ventura’s owners may decide not to sell the firm, the people said. Representatives for Ventura didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The bus and charter coach operator, headquartered in what recently became Australia’s largest city, may draw interest from investors as well as transit corporations in the country. In March, Australia’s Kelsian Group Ltd. acquired All Aboard America! Holdings Inc. for an enterprise value of A$487 million ($318 million). Kelsian had previously shown interest in Go-Ahead Group Plc, the biggest operator of London’s commuter trains and iconic double-decker buses. Go-Ahead was acquired last year in a £714 million ($882 million) deal by a consortium that included another Australian transportation company, Kinetic Group Services Pty Ltd.
Ventura was established in 1924 and transports more than 42 million people annually, according to its website. It has been family owned for four generations and has more than 1,800 employees as well as a fleet of over 900 buses. Alongside government route services, Ventura is also one of the largest bus charter operators in the state of Victoria, servicing about 150 schools, the website shows.
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