TRANSPORT group Stagecoach has bought a FirstGroup bus operation covering Birkenhead, Chester and Wrexham in a £4.5m deal today.
The acquisition involves 290 FirstGroup staff, who will transfer to the Stagecoach business.
The deal is expected to be completed by next month or in January 2013.
Glenvale, a Stagecoach subsidiary, is leading the takeover of the FirstGroup operation which includes 110 buses and bus depots in New Chester Road, Rock Ferry, Liverpool Road, Chester, and a site in Wrexham.
Stagecoach says the deal will allow it to expand its successful bus operations in the North West where its Merseyside and South Lancashire business already operates more than 300 buses and employs more than 900 staff, and carries 33 million passengers a year.
In the 12 months to March, 2012, the FirstGroup business had revenues of £12m and an operating profit of around £600,000.
Stagecoach UK Bus managing director Les Warneford said: “This acquisition will extend our operations in the North West of England, particularly in Merseyside.
“We believe there is significant scope to develop these businesses and improve their financial performance by investing in the quality of the bus fleet.”