The legendary "Greyhound" intercity buses will be part of FlixBus in the future.
The parent company FlixMobility is buying Greyhound Lines, the largest long-distance bus operator in the USA, for up to 172 million dollars (148 million euros) from the British rail and local transport company FirstGroup, as both sides announced on Thursday.
"A constant further development of our network through cooperation or acquisitions has always been an essential part of our growth strategy in order to further expand our global presence", explained Jochen Engert, one of the FlixMobility founders and bosses.
"The takeover of Greyhound takes us a decisive step further and strengthens FlixBus' position in the USA."
There, as well as in Canada and Mexico, there are 1,300 greyhound buses that, according to FlixMobility, go to 2,400 destinations in North America and are used by 16 million passengers every year.
FlixBus has been represented in the USA since 2018 and restarted operations there in early summer.
USA boss Pierre Gourdain announced in June that Flixbus wanted to offer the most extensive network there by 2023.
FlixBus in Hollywood films
André Schwämmlein, another founder and head of FlixMobility, had just over a week ago in an interview with the FAZ confirmed the US ambitions.
The goal is market leadership in the USA, the market has the potential to become as big as all of Europe.
"We are satisfied with the development of our US business, but want to grow," said Schwämmlein.
"We have gained relevant market shares and also brought people to the bus for whom this was not an option until then."
FlixBus brings many young Americans to the bus for whom this has not been an option so far.
However, the image of bus travel still has to change.
"We want to show people that the bus is an attractive alternative to the car." The goal is "that at some point you will see FlixBusse in Hollywood films." that Americans will in future think of FlixBus instead of Greyhound when it comes to bus transport.
Around the world, Flixbus had carried 62 million passengers in 2019 - before the virus outbreak.
The pandemic had brought the travel business almost completely to a standstill at times.
FirstGroup had taken over Greyhound Lines in 2007, but had been looking for a buyer before the corona pandemic. Greyhound's business has also recently suffered severely from the restrictions due to the virus crisis. From April 2020 to March 2021, sales were $ 423 million and adjusted operating profit was $ 1.8 million, according to previous owner FirstGroup.
FlixMobility is initially paying around $ 140 million for greyhounds, with 32 million expected to flow in installments over the next 18 months.
The new owner rents Greyhound's properties, which will remain with FirstGroup.
The $ 108 million state grants Greyhound received from the US government to compensate for the pandemic-related losses will remain with Greyhound and thus benefit FlixMobility.
The bottom line is that the greyhound is valued at $ 46 million.Keywords: greyhound, 2023.flixbus, flixbus, us, sides, firstgroup, development, market leadership, buses, part, company, munich, brand, plans, british