ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

BUSTECH – the bus man­u­fac­tur­ing arm of Queens­land-based Tran­sit Aus­tralia Group ( TAG) – is not part of the pro­posed sale of the mas­sive trans­port en­tity, ac­cord­ing to Bustech CEO An­thony Roder.

Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to ABC mag­a­zine, which con­tacted Bustech to con­firm cer­tain de­tails of any pro­posed sale, Roder said: “The op­er­a­tional side of the [ TAG] busi­ness is for sale.”

Yet when asked if ru­mours Bustech it­self was not part of the sale, Roder an­swered: “That is cor­rect. Bustech at this point is not part of the sale.

“It is an ex­cit­ing time for the in­dus­try over the next 3– 4 months,” he added.


In­dus­try ru­mours over such a sale were con­firmed re­cently by a re­port in The Aus­tralian news­pa­per on­line, say­ing the TAG sale – with an ex­pected price of AUD$200 mil­lion min­i­mum – will be of great in­ter­est to po­ten­tial for­eign buy­ers, fol­low­ing a trend over re­cent years of key Aus­tral­asian bus op­er­a­tions seen as ideal in­vest­ments and solid, con­sis­tent rev­enue streams.

The re­port states: “Buslines are in­creas­ingly on the radar of pri­vate eq­uity and fi­nan­cial in­vestors who find the as­set’s steady in­come stream and long-term con­tracts, es­pe­cially with lo­cal coun­cils, as par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive.

“DataRoom [a cat­e­gory of The Aus­tralian news­pa­per] has been told that TAG has ap­pointed UBS [a global fi­nan­cial ad­vice and ex­per­tise spe­cial­ist firm] to try to find a buyer and it seems that the bank could have no short­age of in­ter­ested par­ties.”


The Tran­sit Aus­tralia Group com­prises a range of lead­ing trans­port and man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies.

Th­ese in­clude:

• Surf­side Buslines – op­er­at­ing in the Gold Coast and Tweed Shire re­gions;

• Sun­bus – op­er­at­ing pub­lic trans­port ser­vices for Tran­slink on the Sun­shine Coast, Rock­hamp­ton, Townsville, Mag­netic Is­land and Cairns;

• Pre­ci­sion Buses – a South Aus­tralian ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing joint ven­ture be­tween Bustech and Ade­laide man­u­fac­turer Pre­ci­sion Com­po­nents Aus­tralia;

• TMS – a spe­cial and mega events joint ven­ture de­liv­er­ing en­tire trans­port so­lu­tions for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional events;

• Tag Mo­bil­ity – an in­no­va­tive bike-share so­cial en­ter­prise; and

• Gulftech – an in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tion fo­cused on work­ing with gov­ern­ments and trans­port au­thor­i­ties in the Mid­dle East to de­liver mass tran­sit and mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions.


Bustech was founded in 1995 by the di­rec­tors of Gold Coast bus op­er­a­tor Surf­side Buslines, Joe and Tony Cal­abro, who had bought that bus op­er­a­tion in 1989.

Said to be, “born out of a frus­tra­tion with the lack of in­no­va­tion and lim­ited body build­ing op­tions avail­able at the time,” Bustech de­cided to de­sign and build its own fleet of qual­ity buses, the com­pany states.

Lat­est re­ports put the TAG um­brella op­er­a­tion as now em­ploy­ing ap­prox­i­mately 1,400 staff and op­er­at­ing a fleet of 700 buses min­i­mum.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing time for the in­dus­try over the next 3-4 months.”


Ac­cord­ing to The Aus­tralian news­pa­per ar­ti­cle: “The likely buy­ers of Surf­side have been iden­ti­fied as EQI, the-Lon­don-based pri­vate eq­uity and in­fra­struc­ture in­vestor 3i, along with Trans­dev, Sin­ga­porean group CDC and Ke­o­lis Downer.”

Above: At this stage, Bustech it­self is not part of the pro­posed sale of the mas­sive TAG trans­port en­tity, ac­cord­ing to Bustech CEO An­thony Roder.

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