Darwen drives forward
£16m buy

Darwen plc is set to expand its Lancashire bus and coach-building operations after agreeing to buy Optare for some £16 million.


Darwen plc is set to expand its Lancashire bus and coach-building operations after agreeing to buy Optare for some £16 million.

Darwen plc is set to expand its Lancashire bus and coach-building operations after agreeing to buy Optare for some £16 million.

Darwen has agreed, subject to the approval of its shareholders, to buy Leeds-based Optare’s holding company, Jamesstan Investments. The acquirer is planning to pay for the purchase by raising £16 million through the issue of 40 million shares at 40p.

The acquisition will add about 550 staff and a £60 million turnover to Darwen’s books, and clients including Stagecoach, Go-Ahead and First Group.

Darwen chief executive Andrew Brian said: “We are excited about building a stronger and more competitive business in order to capitalise on the opportunity of delivering hybrid public transport solutions”.

Jamesstan, controlled by North East businessman Roy Stanley, only recently acquired Optare in March, which was formed in 1985 by staff from the former Charles H Roe company.

The Leeds office of Cobbetts advised Darwen led by corporate partner, Guy Jackson.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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