£3.2m deal helps drive bus operator’s eco-friendly strategy

One of the new buses
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Bus, coach and transport firm, Rotala, has bought a new fleet of environmentally-friendly vehicles following financing from Manchester-based Shawbrook Bank.

Rotala operates in Manchester and Birmingham and has bought 19 fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles through a £3.2m hire purchase asset ownership facility.

The new fleet has been purchased for Rotala’s Diamond Bus (North West) and Hallmark Connections businesses, part of the wider Rotala Group which services 40 million passenger journeys per year.

The new buses will provide greater efficiencies, including fuel improvements and lower emissions, as well as additional operational cost savings.

In addition to improving reliability and performance, Rotala’s new fleet enhances passenger experience through additional features such as e-leather seating, USB charging points and WiFi.

Simon Dunn, Rotala chief executive, said: “This investment will enable Rotala to improve its business operations in both Birmingham and Manchester through the replacement of several legacy vehicles.

“The new state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendlier fleet will not only reduce our carbon footprint but provide our customers with a reliable and comfortable service while strengthening the Rotala brand across two of the UK’s largest cities.”

Rotala is an AIM-listed company which owns and operates a number of companies in the business of bus, coach and transport management services.

The operations are undertaken by various depots throughout the UK but focused on two key areas for local passenger transport – Manchester and Birmingham.

Simon added: “We required lending partners with deep sector expertise that really knew our industry inside out.

“The team at Midlands Asset Finance are incredibly knowledgeable and did a great job in helping us secure the funding we needed with Shawbrook.

“Despite all the current challenges brought on by the impact of COVID-19, both Midlands Asset Finance and the specialist team at Shawbrook were able to see the potential and benefits of this investment and worked hard to get the funding in place for us.”

Andy Bullock, business development manager at Shawbrook, said: “As a specialist lender, this was a great opportunity to support a strategically important business which is embedded in the transport infrastructure within Birmingham and Manchester. It is well established with a strong management team which has managed the COVID-19 crisis well.”

James Dutton, sales director at Midlands Asset Finance, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with both the team at Rotala and with Shawbrook.

“Our honest and open dialogue with Rotala management provided us with clarity and a good understanding of their needs. This allowed us to present the opportunity to Shawbrook who we knew would deliver in a quick and efficient way.

“Understandably, we have seen many lenders reduce their credit appetite this year.

“However, by demonstrating a clear picture of the client, showing their experience in the sector and articulating their rationale for purchase, we have been able to secure the funding Rotala requires.”