FirstGroup announces it has signed an agreement to purchase York Pullman Bus Company Ltd. The latter comprises five well-established brands in the provision of bus and coach services. It has a strong presence in regional and business to business (B2B) operations in York and the surrounding area of North Yorkshire.

In early 2023 FirstGroup announced deal to acquire Essex-based Ensign Bus Company Limited. Both moves are part of the company’s strategy to focus – and strenghten its business in UK, after the sale of First Student and First Transit in USA.

FirstGroup takes over York Pullman Bus Company

York Pullman is predominantly a provider of home-to-school and college contracted services and private hire operations including rail replacement. It also comprises a small number of local bus routes operated on behalf of several local authorities and complementary to the operations of First Bus operations in York. First Bus has recently appointed Tom Donnelly as Operations Manager for York depot.

The business has a mixed fleet of more than 130 vehicles with varying passenger capacity.

The acquisition of the York Pullman business “will both enhance FirstGroup’s operational footprint in North Yorkshire and provide growth opportunities in adjacent markets and development of its private hire capability” FirstGrup states.

Tom James, Managing Director of York Pullman, will remain with the company and continue to run it on a standalone basis with support from the existing York Pullman team alongside the First Bus executive team. He will also contribute to the development of the First Bus coach services growth strategy.

Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer said: “A key pillar of our strategy is to grow and diversify our portfolio. The acquisition of York Pullman – a long- established, high-performing business – fits well with our strategy as it will both enhance the First Bus operational footprint in North Yorkshire and expand our adjacent services business, where we are looking to grow our presence.”

Tom James said: “This is an important step in the development of York Pullman to build on its success and ensure its sustainability for the future within FirstGroup, whilst retaining its identity and core values.”


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