Souter Investments is delighted to announce that Alexander Dennis Limited (“ADL”, the “Company”) has been acquired by Toronto Stock Exchange listed NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”).
The transaction creates an independent global bus OEM with market leading positions in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and North America plus a growing footprint in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe. ADL’s proven products and successful track record of entering and growing new markets will complement NFI’s product offering, diversify its business model and create a platform for international growth, accelerated technology development and innovation.
ADL is one of the world's leading independent bus and coach manufacturers and the number one global producer of double deck buses. With a long history spanning more than a century, ADL has over 31,000 vehicles in service in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States sold under the Alexander Dennis and Plaxton brands.
NFI is North America’s largest and most diversified bus manufacturer providing market leading transportation solutions under the brands: New Flyer®, ARBOC®, MCI®, and NFI Parts™. Tracing its roots back to 1930, NFI has over 74,000 vehicles in service in Canada and the United States.
"This is a transformational acquisition for NFI to become a global bus manufacturer,” said Paul Soubry, NFI's President and Chief Executive Officer. “ADL is the UK’s number one bus manufacturer and the number one global producer of double-deck buses, with an established international presence and is recognized as a leader known for innovative products and a commitment to quality and service. We’re thrilled to have ADL join the NFI family in a transaction that we believe will drive our business forward by combining joint strengths in engineering, sales, new product development and manufacturing with NFI’s expertise in Operational Excellence, insourcing, fabrication and systems management.”
NFI Board Chairman, the Honourable Brian Tobin, P.C. O.C. added, "ADL is a company we know very well, and this acquisition presents a compelling opportunity to make NFI a more diversified and robust business while creating immediate value for our shareholders. NFI’s management team has a track record of delivering accretive acquisitions and prudent capital management which we expect to continue through the addition of ADL."
ADL was established in 2004 when a consortium of Scottish entrepreneurs led by Sir Brian Souter and including Dame Ann Gloag, Sir Angus Grossart and Sir David Murray acquired the business from TransBus International’s administrators.
Since 2004 ADL has gone from strength to strength and demonstrated a track record of consistent growth. In 2018 ADL generated revenues of £631 million, having grown revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 10.5% since 2010, and the Company delivered more than 2,500 buses and coaches across the Company’s domestic UK market and multiple international territories.
ADL’s Chief Executive Officer, Colin Robertson, who has driven the growth and internationalisation of the Company over more than 10 years, and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Stewart, will continue to lead ADL as well as head-up NFI’s international growth ambitions.
"We are incredibly proud of the growth and success we’ve had building Alexander Dennis over the past 15 years, and I’m excited to have the ADL team join NFI – one great bus company joining another”, said Colin Robertson. “We believe our consolidated businesses will enhance NFI’s market leading position in North America, while improving NFI’s offering through combined engineering expertise, supplier partnerships, electric vehicle know-how and aftermarket platforms.” Mr. Robertson added, “I look forward to continuing our solid progress at ADL and also championing further international growth for NFI in coordination with Paul and his leadership team”.
Souter Investments will retain an equity interest in NFI and ADL going forward having been issued shares in NFI Group Inc. as part of the transaction.
Sir Brian Souter, Chairman of Souter Investments, commented: “Colin, Michael and their team at ADL have built a fantastic market leading business. Having been involved with ADL since 2004, I have witnessed the transformation of the Company into a truly international business with an exceptional product portfolio, a reputation for innovation and design and engineering excellence, and a first-class approach to customer service.”
John Berthinussen, Investment Director at Souter Investments added: “The sale of ADL continues an extremely active period at Souter Investments where we have made several new investments, supported our businesses with follow-on capital, and completed a number of successful sales. Our primary focus remains on private equity investing, where we are not constrained by fund rules or specific investment hold periods and can offer flexible and supportive institutional capital, tailored to the specific business and situation we are investing in.”
Lazard acted as financial advisors for certain ADL shareholders, Deloitte and Roland Berger provided vendor due diligence services, and CMS, Dickson Minto and Pinsent Masons acted as legal advisors.
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For Alexander Dennis Limited
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About Alexander Dennis Limited
ADL is one of the world's leading independent bus and coach manufacturers offering Alexander Dennis buses and Plaxton motor coaches with a history and heritage of design, engineering and manufacturing excellence that spans more than a century.
Headquartered in Scotland, ADL employs over 2,500 team members and has over 31,000 vehicles in service in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States. For more information visit www.alexander-dennis.com.
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity. Souter has significant investments in approximately 30 unquoted companies, acting both as a lead investor and as a co-investor with other financial sponsors. Souter’s portfolio includes FinTech online and ecommerce interest-free-only credit provider, DivideBuy; Pet Centar, the leading pet supplies retailer in South East Europe; and Ashtead Technology, which offers fully integrated equipment solutions to the subsea and onshore environmental monitoring and inspection sectors. Recent exits include the sale of OnniBus.com, First Scottish Group, Endura and Baywater Healthcare. In April 2019 Souter Investments announced the sale of Mobius Life Limited subject to necessary regulatory approvals. For more information visit www.souterinvestments.com.
About NFI Group Inc.
Now with over 8,900 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses) and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). It also supports infrastructure development through New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions™, a service dedicated to providing safe and reliable charging and mobility solutions. In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. For the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, NFI posted revenues of US$2.5 billion (and pro-forma with ADL of approximately US$3.3 billion).
NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com and www.nfi.parts.