26/03/2012 - Lucketts Buys Historic Southampton Coach Firm To Expand Business
One of the biggest and best known coach companies on the South Coast of England is expanding its award winning business, with the acquisition of a highly regarded competitor in Southampton.
Fareham based Lucketts Travel has just signed a deal to take over Coliseum Coaches, a company that can trace its history back to the 1890s. Like Lucketts it has always been run by the same family and together the two companies have 200 years combined experience in the coach travel business. The deal comes into effect on March 26th 2012.
David Luckett MBE, Chairman of Lucketts Travel, said “There might not be much movement in the global mergers and acquisitions market at the moment, but the time was right for us to make our move. It’s a good deal for both family firms. Coliseum operates a superb modern fleet and has a rich history in providing quality services in and around Southampton. It’s perfect fit with our own business and expansion plans.”
With 12 coaches and 15 staff Coliseum Coaches is a much smaller operation than Lucketts. The company name will stay the same, and all staff will be keeping their jobs. In fact the only noticeable change will be the addition of three new vehicles to the fleet under new the ownership arrangements. The Pitter family, previous owners of Coliseum Coaches, will continue to be a part of the company too. Mark Pitter, son of former owner David, will stay on as General Manager to head up the Southampton side of the business.
With a contract to transport Southampton Football club, and other deals with tour operators, Coliseum Coaches is well thought of in the Southampton area. Last year it had a turnover of £1.3 million, a figure the new owners hope to build on in the coming months and years. Lucketts Travel confidently predicts it can improve profits by 20% in the first year of ownership. The deal will also help to provide extra capacity for the company at peak times.
The acquisition will certainly mean Lucketts can further build on its reputation as a south coast success story. With an existing fleet of 80 modern luxury coaches and mini-buses it transports hundreds of thousands of passengers a year. The business is well known for offering luxury coach hire for the leisure and corporate markets. Its ability to grow during recent economic storms was recently highlighted by the Daily Telegraph. The newspaper named Lucketts as one of the UK’s top medium sized businesses in October 2011.