Variant Equity buys Coach USA for about $271.4 mln


Variant Equity has acquired Coach USA from Stagecoach Group plc for about $271.4 million. RBC Capital Markets was financial adviser to Stagecoach Group plc on the transaction. Based in Paramus, New Jersey, Coach USA is a provider of passenger transportation and mobility services.

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Variant Equity announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Coach USA Administration, Inc. and its subsidiaries (“Coach USA” or the “Company”) from Stagecoach Group plc in a transaction valued at approximately $271.4 million.

Headquartered in Paramus, NJ, Coach USA is a leading provider of passenger transportation and mobility services including intercity bus, public transit, employee transportation, campus shuttle and airport transportation services. The Company operates through a number of marquee brands, including megabus.com, which provides intercity coach services. With over 4,500 employees and 2,200 buses, Coach USA has an extensive reach throughout the United States and Canada.

“With a history that dates back to 1922, Coach USA has been a consistent leader in the passenger transportation industry,” said Variant Equity Managing Partner, Farhaad Wadia. “The combination of Coach USA’s unwavering commitment to providing safe and reliable transportation and Variant’s focus on providing corporate carve-outs with the technological, operational and financial resources required to accelerate innovation and growth, will allow the Company and its management team to unlock their full potential.”

Coach USA will be led by CEO Linda Burtwistle, who previously served as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish under Stagecoach’s ownership and are looking forward to building upon those successes in the future,” said Ms. Burtwistle. “We are extremely excited to partner with Variant. Their transportation & logistics experience, combined with their focus on driving technology into businesses will allow us to accelerate our vision for the Company as the market leader in sustainable, technology-enabled, value-priced transportation across the United States and Canada.”

Mr. Wadia said the Coach USA acquisition reflects Variant Equity’s focus on middle-market corporate divestitures and marks the firm’s third corporate carve-out in the last 18 months.

“We have remained committed to the corporate carve-out market and continue to show a high level of activity in the space. We believe our focus and experience has made us the preferred acquiror to our transaction partners and management teams,” said Mr. Wadia.

Sidley Austin LLP and Alston & Bird LLP served as Variant Equity’s legal counsel on the acquisition of Coach USA. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. served as joint lead arrangers for the financing of the transaction.

RBC Capital Markets acted as Financial Advisor, and Covington & Burling LLP acted as Legal Advisor to Stagecoach Group plc on the transaction.

About Variant Equity
Founded in 2017, Variant Equity is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that makes control investments in corporate divestiture transactions across a range of industries including transportation and logistics, technology, and business services. The firm’s investment approach focuses on businesses it believes are best-suited to reach their full potential as stand-alone enterprises through the deployment of Variant’s operations and technology resources. For more information please visit www.variantequity.com.