First Bus has agreed to sell its First Scotland East business and all its routes in the region to McGill’s Group. The sale, which will complete later in September, includes all First Bus depots in Livingston, Larbert, Bannockburn, Balfron, as well as the Edinburgh open-top bus operation Bright Bus Tours. It also includes over 200 buses which currently operate in the region and approximately 550 staff.
Duncan Cameron, managing director, First Bus Scotland, says: “This sale is part of a strategic refocusing of our Scotland business with significant investment in zero emission buses in Glasgow and Aberdeen.
“As we’ve seen from their successful purchase of Xplore Dundee in recent times, McGill’s is an historic and trusted bus operator brand within Scotland and one we believe to be a safe pair of hands to take the Scotland East business forward successfully.”
McGill’s Group, owned by Sandy and James Easdale, has invested heavily in its business and services, including the recent purchase of Xplore Dundee from National Express and a partnership with international coach operator FlixBus for longer distance routes.
James Easdale, chairman, McGill’s Bus Group, adds: “Everyone at McGill’s Group is excited about welcoming Scotland East into our stable and the opportunities that lie ahead. Our team are passionate about using our expertise to build the business in the years ahead so we can retain and attract new passengers across the region. We’re pleased the opportunity has arisen to acquire the business and we appreciate the efforts of First towards ensuring a smooth transition.”
Ralph Roberts, CEO, McGill’s Bus Group, says: “We firmly believe that we can combine the advantages of the McGill’s Group with unique local transport brands and we will be announcing further details on that post-completion.”