Estonia buys 10% of Latvian open bus market

Estonian bus company Hansabuss has acquired a majority holding in the Latvian regional bus company Tukuma Auto, the company said in a statement Friday.

AS Hansabuss acquired 91 per cent majority holding in the Latvian company Tukuma Auto SIA for an undisclosed sum.

In addition to bus transport services in Latvia, Tukuma Auto also offers national and international road transport services through a subsidiary.

"As a result of the transaction, the market share of Hansabuss grows to an estimated 10 per cent in Latvia in the public bus transport and charter transport segments open to competition," Hansabuss said..

According to Neeme Tammis of Hansabuss' management board, the company is significantly strengthening its position in the Baltic public bus transport market with this transaction.

“It is a strategic decision in preparation for the opening of the Latvian public bus transport markets in 2020. In the interim, we plan to get to know the specifics of the Latvian market better and develop local competence. We plan to expand even further in the public bus transport market and charter bus market in Latvia and we also see potential in the Lithuanian market,” said Tammis.

The former majority owner, and member of the management board of Tukuma Auto, Ilgvars Kalninš said: "I believe that the passengers are the main winners in this transaction.”

Kalninš will continue in the supervisory board of Tukuma Auto and will remain actively connected with the company. The other member of the company’s management board, Maris Lipkins, will continue in the same position.

The Latvian business unit of Hansabuss, will be headed by the current CEO and management board member of Hansabuss Eesti, Sergei Vahnitski. Hansabuss will announce the candidacy for the position of CEO and management board member in Estonia in the near future.

Tukuma Auto SIA mainly services the urban and county lines of Tukums, local school lines and national long-distance lines as well as offering charter transport services. As of 1 January 2017, the company will also begin servicing the public bus transport lines of Saldus and Kuldiga counties as well. The subsidiary Tutransauto SIA operates in national and international freight transport.

The 2017 consolidated turnover forecast for Tukuma Auto, including the public line transport contracts already concluded, is over 3 million euros. There are 72 people currently working in the company, and an additional 37 bus drivers and office workers shall be employed in order to service the new public bus transport line contracts in two counties, which will enter into force from next year.

As such, the company’s number of employees shall increase to 109 persons. The company’s fleet includes 33 buses and 19 trucks, to which 21 new Iveco and Volkswagen buses shall be added in the Saldus and Kuldiga counties starting from next year. Tukuma Auto shall invest over 1.5 million euros in the new fleet

Hansabuss itself is part of the Hansa Group (NTH Holding OÜ), which, in addition to the companies offering bus transport services, also includes car rental companies Hansarent OÜ and Baltic Mobility OÜ (Europcar Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Interrent Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and AS Iv Pluss, which operates in the sale and maintenance of Iveco and Irisbus vehicles. The consolidated total revenues of Hansa Group exceeds 32 million euros per annum and the group’s companies employ more than 500 people in the Baltics.

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