Iwi partnership to sell Go Bus to experienced transit company

Mar 16, 2020

Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Tainui Group Holdings have agreed to sell passenger transport company Go Bus to Melbourne-based industry operator Kinetic.

Kinetic operates SkyBus in Auckland and 177 other passenger transit services across Australasia, including leading Queensland transit brands Surfside Buslines and Sunbus, and Sydney’s largest bus and coach charter company Telford’s. It is majority owned by OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. The purchase is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings Chair Mark Tume says Go Bus is a natural fit with Kinetic, a strong and experienced mass transit group.
“We’re pleased Go Bus is being purchased by Australia’s leading mass transit operator, which already successfully operates in New Zealand. Go Bus and Kinetic have similar visions and values, and Kinetic has more than 40 years’ experience in public transport; and moves more than 48 million passengers a year.

“Together with Tainui Group Holdings we’ve invested in, developed and grown the business, and now we’re realising the value created. Ngāi Tahu Holdings will use these funds to further strengthen the balance sheet so we’re well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities.”

Tainui Group Holdings Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden says the partnership with Ngāi Tahu produced the outcome both parties were seeking: to invest successfully on behalf of tribal members.

“Through mahi tahi, working together, this partnership between the first two iwi to settle with the Crown has created value for our respective whānau, the shareholders, and that’s something we’re very proud of,” says Sir Henry.

Kinetic Co-Chief Executive Officers Adam Begg and Michael Sewards say they are excited to welcome Go Bus to the group and that the acquisition is a milestone for the company.

“Buses are a vital form of public transport connecting urban communities across New Zealand and through excellent management and customer service over many years Go Bus has rightfully established itself as the premium provider,” Begg says.

“Under the stewardship of Ngāi Tahu Holdings and Tainui Group Holdings, Go Bus has gone from strength-to-strength with significant growth in new routes, new vehicles and in the size and skills of the Go Bus team to support this. There is also exciting innovation with the introduction of electric vehicles in some parts of the market and further trials under way.”

Go Bus Chief Executive Calum Haslop says he looks forward to the contribution Kinetic will bring to the company and passenger transport in Aotearoa.

“We are thrilled to become part of Kinetic and this fast-moving and innovative Australasian mass transit team.

“We’ve continued to grow significantly over the last five years by focusing on the needs of our customers, continuous improvement and innovation, and the wellbeing of our fantastic Go Bus team. We see Kinetic as a natural fit for this next stage and are delighted by the joint opportunities ahead.”

For now, Haslop says, it is business as usual for all Go Bus routes, fares, passengers and drivers.