Ashok Leyland to acquire 26-% stake in UK bus maker Optare
30 Jul 2010
Ashok Leyland Ltd, the flagship company of the London-based Hinduja Group, today said that it will acquire a 26-per cent stake in Optare plc, a leading bus manufacturer in the UK, as a part of long-term strategic cooperation.
"The agreement brings together two quality bus-making companies who can trace their lineage to common roots – the Leyland brand, with links to the long history of that company, when it was the largest bus maker in the world," Optare said in a statement.
The investment, which is estimated at about $7.5 million and allows Ashok Leyland to nominate two nominees on Optare' board, is expected to further benefit Ashok Leyland in its plan to accelerate technology, new product development and to address new markets.
Optare, founded in 1985 by former employees of Leyland, makes weight optimised 'Low Carbon' range of mid-sized,low-floor buses as well as a modern range of city buses andis a pioneer of the low-floor double-deckers in the UK.
The company has plants in Blackburn and Leeds with a combined annual production capacity of 1,100 units and holds a 34-per cent market share in the UK. Its 2009 turnover was nearly £80 million.
Its new electric bus has already secured several orders as more countries in Europe promote cleaner, greener mobility.