McGill’s swallows another rival for £3m

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Bus operator McGill’s said yesterday it had agreed to buy a Dumbarton-based rival for “around £3 million”.

McGill’s, which was already planning to double in size with the £10m takeover of Arriva Scotland West, said it was buying the limited entity, buses and Dumbarton depot of Loch Lomond Bus Services Limited, which trades as McColl’s.

The smaller firm’s 35 staff will be offered continued employment with McGill’s, which will take over all the services on 10 December in a deal extends its network to Alexandria, Balloch, Helensburgh and Clydebank.

Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill’s, said: “The acquisition fits well with our growth targets and expansion plans for McGill’s.”

The larger acquisition of Arriva Scotland West was agreed in march and is currently being considered by the Competition Commission (CC).

McGill’s said the latest move showed the firm had put the CC review “firmly to the back of its mind, and is back on track towards its goal of becoming the foremost independent operator in the Scottish bus market”.

Liam McColl, of the family which ran the Loch Lomond services, said the firm had decided to focus its efforts on the coach hire and school contracts side of its business.