Sir Brian Souter’s investment company Souter Investments today announced its second major disposal this year with the sale of Sunseeker yachts.
The deal came on the same day as orders were placed for 25 new double deck coaches for Sir Brian’s bus company in Poland.
Souter Investments has had a busy and successful start to 2013. Beijing based Dalian Wanda Group has announced that it was acquiring Sunseeker, Britain’s biggest luxury motor yacht manufacturer. Souter Investments was the largest shareholder in Portofino Yacht Investments, which controlled Sunseeker.
Commenting on the sale to Wanda Group, Sir Brian said: “This is a welcome announcement. Sunseeker already exports nearly 100% of its yachts to many countries round the world. Wanda will be a wonderful partner, particularly in helping it unlock the substantial potential inherent in the developing Chinese boating market.”
For Sir Brian it is the second major disposal in the last 3 months, having previously realised Souter Investments’ significant stake in the £1.2bn flotation of insurance giant esure.
Meanwhile, the €12 million investment in new coaches comes on PolskiBus.com’s second birthday. When the company launched two years ago it had only 18 vehicles. By the end of the year it will have 92 coaches operating in Poland.
PolskiBus.com, which brought cheap luxury express coach travel to Poland, now operates 12 routes and has carried nearly 3.5 million passengers since its launch.
The new Van Hool luxury double-deckers, which carry 89 passengers, will ensure PolskiBus.com remains at the forefront of green travel. For instance, fuel consumption on a trip from Warsaw to Gdansk, a distance of 350 kilometres, is only 1.4 litres per passenger.
The new vehicles are equipped with environment-friendly and economical engines, air conditioning, toilets, Wi-Fi, and 89 comfortable reclining seats. They have also been designed to meet the needs of limited mobility and disabled passengers, as the lower deck provides for wheelchair access.
Since its formation, PolskiBus.com has become one of Poland’s biggest brands with passenger satisfaction rates of 99.62%.
Sir Brian said: “PolskiBus.com has been a tremendous success. Passengers love our prices, comfort, convenient schedules and quality service.
“We have ambitious plans for the future and will continue to expand PolskiBus.com in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.”
In addition to serving 19 Polish cities, PolskiBus.com serves a number of international destinations in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
PolskiBus.com even has its own Facebook fanpage with 90,000 followers and in an online birthday competition, passengers can compete for prizes such as an iPod touch, PolskiBus.com model buses and the Ziggi stork toys. (Ziggy is the company’s mascot)
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is the private investment vehicle of Sir Brian Souter, the joint founder and chairman of Stagecoach Group PLC. Souter Investments has a broad portfolio of unquoted investments including biofuel business Argent Energy, Virgin Mobile Latin America and Alexander Dennis, the UK’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer. Souter Investments also has a number of transport investments in New Zealand and Turkey.
PolskiBus.com serves 12 routes and reaches 19 Polish cities: Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Czestochowa, Gdansk, Katowice, Kielce, Kraków, Lublin, Lódz, Olsztyn, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Ostróda, Poznan, Radom, Rzeszów, Torun, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Zakopane. It serves 5 European locations: Berlin, Berlin Schönefeld Airport, Bratislava, Prague and Vienna.
The fleet of PolskiBus.com provides modern and air-conditioned buses. Passengers have free access to internet, electric sockets under each seat and reclining leather chairs. PolskiBus.com does not charge any hidden luggage fees. On selected routes passengers are offered free hot or cold beverages, snacks, as well as ice-cream.
Ticket prices start from PLN 1 + PLN 1 booking charge. Tickets can be booked at www.polskibus.com. Tickets are also sold at stationary points of sale in selected cities.
Media contact: Gordon Beattie 0800 612 9890