Author Topic: Surely, it is only a matter of time?  (Read 2832 times)

Offline AN68

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Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« on: March 16, 2012, 08:41:36 PM »
With the announcement that Stagecoach has purchased First's North Devon operation, consisting of 10 routes, 30 buses and 100 employees, it can only be a matter of time before Stagecoach buys First's similiarly sized Northampton operation.

Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 01:38:26 PM »
Well logic says yes but I fear the Oft will say no.
The ruling by the Oft on the North Devon situation will impact on all possible future takeovers/mergers, concepts like 'size of the local market unable to support more than one operator' will be key.
Following the recent inquiry into competition in the bus industry and particularly the negative stories about the North-East, The Oft (and CC) seem to be in militant mood.
I suspect a lot of interested parties will be watching this with bated breath.
Personally I think that if the Oft stop this takeover, First should just de-register the routes, serve redundancy notices to staff, put the depot up for sale/re-asign the lease and then sit back and see what happens.
There would be nothing to stop Stagecoach registering new routes duplicating the old First ones, they could then re-hire the First staff.
Of course having a large enough operating centre could be a short term problem.
I am not a lawyer but I wonder if Stagecoach could then legally pay First £2.8m for either 'Management Consultancy services' or perhaps 50 - 15+ year old buses fit only for the scrapyard?

Offline Dale

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 06:46:07 PM »
Stagecoach won't need to pay anything (that will suit canny Brian......!)

If First de-register Northampton, or simply allow the steady decline to continue, Stagecoach can just register new services, probably in conjunction with a review of their own routes to achieve maximum efficiency.

I can't see how the OFT, CC or Uncle Tom C & A can do much to stop any operator registering where no routes then remain.

Dale

Offline barryb

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 10:10:57 PM »
I am not a lawyer but I wonder if Stagecoach could then legally pay First £2.8m for either 'Management Consultancy services' or perhaps 50 - 15+ year old buses fit only for the scrapyard?


They could, but they would have to trust First not to just start running the services again, as they would lack the protection of clauses in a purchase contract that would prevent this.  I'm sure very many similar mutual understandings have been reached though!

Offline Derrick Pancel

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 03:56:30 AM »
Is the 'Devon incident' the operations around Barnstaple, formerly known as Red Bus ?

Offline AN68

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 09:14:37 PM »
Derrick, yes it is.

Offline bmnpton

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 10:30:43 PM »
Please FIRST just put us out of our misery and dispose of Northampton's operation!

Offline TCD813

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Re: Surely, it is only a matter of time?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 10:55:23 AM »
With the announcement that Stagecoach has purchased First's North Devon operation, consisting of 10 routes, 30 buses and 100 employees, it can only be a matter of time before Stagecoach buys First's similiarly sized Northampton operation.
Well logic says yes but I fear the Oft will say no.
The ruling by the Oft on the North Devon situation will impact on all possible future takeovers/mergers, concepts like 'size of the local market unable to support more than one operator' will be key.
Following the recent inquiry into competition in the bus industry and particularly the negative stories about the North-East, The Oft (and CC) seem to be in militant mood.
I suspect a lot of interested parties will be watching this with bated breath...

As this is a national issue, I've posted comments on this thread:

Local bus services market investigation
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.