(Alliance News) - FirstGroup PLC on Friday said it has agreed to buy York Pullman Bus Co Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

The Aberdeen-based transport company said that York Pullman provides home-to-school and college contracted services and private hire operations including rail replacement services, and operates a small number of local bus routes on behalf of several local authorities, complementary to the operations of First Bus in York. It has a mixed fleet of more than 130 vehicles.

The company also has a "strong presence" in regional and adjacent services operations in York and surrounding towns in North Yorkshire.

"The acquisition plays strongly into the group's strategy, providing profitable growth opportunities in adjacent services contracted and commercial markets, with the ability to develop this into other locations across the UK," FirstGroup said.

For the year ended December 31, York Pullman reported revenues of GBP10 million and earnings before interest and tax of GBP2 million.

FirstGroup expects the acquisition to complete in the "next few weeks."

Chief Executive Officer Graham Sutherland said: "A key pillar of our strategy is to grow and diversify our portfolio. The acquisition of York Pullman, a long-established, high-performing business fits well with our strategy as it will both enhance the First Bus operational footprint in North Yorkshire and expand our adjacent services business, where we are looking to grow our presence."

Shares in FirstGroup rose 0.2% to 169.50 pence each in London on Friday morning.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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