Scotland business

Alexander Dennis sold to Canadian firm for £320m

Alexander Dennis Enviro200 bus Image copyright Alexander Dennis
Image caption Alexander Dennis has been owned by group of Scottish investors since 2004

One of Scotland's biggest manufacturers has been sold to a Canadian firm for £320m.

Alexander Dennis, the world's largest producer of double-decker buses, was acquired by a group of Scottish investors in 2004.

Stagecoach founders Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag owned more than half the Falkirk-based company.

Alexander Dennis will now become part of the NFI Group, which makes buses for the North American market.

The firm employs 2,500 workers, most of them in Falkirk but also in Guildford and Scarborough.

'Truly international business'

Last year, it had revenue of £631m, making more than 2,500 buses, with half of its business in the UK.

Sir Brian Souter, chairman of Souter Investments, described ADL as a "fantastic market leading business".

He added: "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."

Image caption ADL is already the UK's largest manufacturer of buses

The business was initially acquired from TransBus International's administrators 15 years ago.

The consortium of Scottish investors included Sir Angus Grossart and Sir David Murray.

Paul Soubry, NFI's president and chief executive officer, said: "This is a transformational acquisition for NFI to become a global bus manufacturer.

"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 recognised as a leader known for innovative products and a commitment to quality and service.

Image copyright Alexander Dennis
Image caption ADL chief executive Colin Robertson (left) with NFI president Paul Soubry

"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."

Souter Investments will retain an equity interest in NFI and ADL, having been issued shares in NFI Group Inc as part of the transaction.

Meanwhile, Unite has requested an urgent meeting with the new owners to seek assurances about the future of 1,000 workers in Scotland.

'Scottish success story'

The operation consists of the Camelon manufacturing site and the Larbert corporate headquarters.

Pat Rafferty, the union's Scottish Secretary, said: "It's important to state that we have had productive industrial relations following the vital role Unite, and the workforce, played in keeping the company in business nine years ago.

"Alexander Dennis is now a world leader in manufacturing and a Scottish success story.

"Unite wants this success story to continue but it is vital NFI assure the workforce of their future business plan going forward."

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