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Souter buys 75% of Finnish coach operator

SIR Brian Souter has added another transport business to his empire with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Finnish intercity coach operator Onnibus Oy, which is rebranding as OnniBus.com

SIR Brian Souter has added another transport business to his empire with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Finnish intercity coach operator Onnibus Oy, which is rebranding as OnniBus.com

The former bus conductor has overseen the multi-million-pound acquisition by his family investment office Souter Investments with a view to replicating the success he has had in Poland with Polski Bus.

Sir Brian said: "We are delighted to add OnniBus.com to our portfolio of global transport businesses.

"We believe there is a fantastic opportunity in the Finnish intercity express coach market and we see enormous potential in the OnniBus.com business as it seeks to establish a market-leading position."

The investment will see an operator with just a handful of vehicles develop a national network of express coach services with a fleet of new coaches.

There are also plans to boost the three-year-old company's operational and web infrastructure.

Pekka Motto, managing director of OnniBus.com, said: "The investment represents a landmark for OnniBus.com.

"It will provide not only the support of a strong balance sheet and access to substantial funds for growth, but also access to Souter's invaluable experience, knowledge and expertise in the public transport industry."

Highland Global Transport, Souter Investments' transport arm, already has investments in the UK, New Zealand, Poland and Turkey.

Stagecoach veteran Roger Bowker, former chief executive of Polski Bus, has been appointed executive chairman of Onni Bus.

He said: "Our experience in the UK, USA, Canada and Poland has demonstrated that there is a demand for fast, modern and innovative intercity express coach travel."

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