Singapore: ComfortDelGro expands UK footprint, buys over insurance JV

Photo: New Adventure Travel (NAT) Facebook account

ComfortDelGro Corporation is expanding its footprint in the United Kingdom through the acquisition of a bus and coach operator in South Wales for £13.4 million ($18.7 million). Additionally, it has bought over an insurance joint venture it launched in 2003.

The acquisition of New Adventure Travel (NAT) Group in the UK was conducted through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Braddell Limited. The purchase consideration of $18.7 million translates into a valuation of 5.5 times the EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of NAT Group and will be financed using internal funds. Currently, ComfortDelGro operates a fleet of about 1,700 vehicles in London through another wholly-owned subsidiary, Metroline Limited.

In an official statement, ComfortDelGro’s managing director and CEO, Yang Ban Seng, said: “With the addition of NAT Group, we are broadening our footprint into Wales and expanding the bus operations outside of London which have always been our strategic intent.”

It has also decided to acquire the entire issued share capital of ComfortDelGro Insurance Brokers Pte Ltd (CDGI) following a decision by Global East Investments to exercise its put option to offload its 51 per cent stake in the joint venture.

This will see CDGI – a provider of insurance broking, risk management, claims management and related services in the city-state – become a wholly-owned subsidiary of ComfortDelGro.

The put option was agreed to under a joint venture agreement signed between Global East Investments and ComfortDelGro in September 2003.

ComfortDelGro paid S$22.9 million ($17.21 million) in cash for the stake, which it said was based on 1.5 times the brokerage fees of CDGI for the financial year ended Dec 31, and in accordance with the terms of the joint venture agreement.

ComfortDelGro said the acquisition would be financed by internal funds and is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets per share and the earnings per share for the current financial year.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.