Transport group disposes of £30m assets

Transport group Rotala has announced its disposal of a North-West depot and vehicles for £30.4m, in a deal with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

The Tividale-headquartered company has sold its Bolton depot to the GMCA as well as its associated fixtures, fittings, plant and machinery.

134 vehicles have been placed into a notional asset pool, created by TfGM as part of a franchising arrangement. The scheme allows for buses in the asset pool to be allocated to incoming franchise operators. The successful franchise bidder is obliged to acquire the vehicles to it at a value determined by TfGM.

The total combined value of these assets, is expected to be worth approximately £23m.

Proceeds from the deal will be used to repay the mortgage and hire purchase debt of the assets, totalling £14.9m as well as Rotala repaying the remaining outstanding drawings on its revolving commercial facility, totalling £10.8m.

The drawn down in January from HSBC saw Rotala buy-back shares at a premium in an effort to return its share price to pre-pandemic levels.

Rotala then embarked on a tender offer as it looked to return £10m to shareholders in February 2023 and it purchased an Eccles depot in March for £1.9m.

The deal is subject to approval at Rotala’s general meeting, with the board set to recommend the disposals to shareholders.