A Hampshire coach firm has bought out one if its local rivals.
The Fareham-based family-owned Lucketts Group has acquired Solent Coaches as part of long-term growth plans.
Lucketts managing director Tony Lawman said the acquisition of the Ringwood-based operation gives Lucketts an extra 12 coaches to add to its fleet of around 130 vehicles and provides a strategic base for the company on the edge of the New Forest.
“At the start of the year we announced our intention to expand geographically and Solent Coaches fits into this plan perfectly,” said Tony.
“The company is family-owned like Lucketts and its offering of coach hire, days out and school travel reflects our core business.”
As part of the acquisition all 19 staff of Solent Coaches will be taken on by Lucketts and Tony said the plan is to grow the Ringwood-based operation.
“It is very much business as usual,” said Tony. “The Solent Coaches name will be retained and all booking and contracts will carry on as normal. But if extra coaches are needed we can call upon our extensive fleet.”
A sister engineering company will remain in the ownership of the Skew family which set up Solent Coaches and will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of the Ringwood-based fleet.
John Skew said: “Our coach business has given us much pleasure over the years. Now, having taken it as far as we can, we feel it’s the right time to pass it on to a company that can grow it and take it to the next level whilst we concentrate on our engineering business. We’re so pleased that Solent Coaches will be owned by another family business, which shares our visions and values for quality travel and looking after its staff.”
Lucketts currently employs more than 300 people and already owns two other brands – Coliseum Coaches in Southampton and Worthing Coaches – and also runs more than 100 journeys each day for National Express.
Source: Daily Echo