From Hong Kong by bus
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/ The Hong Kong-based CNT Group has stepped in to buy the local bus operating arm of Ensign Bus Services, after a US venture capital group withdrew its offer last month, (CM 16-22 August 1990).
The multi-million-pound deal includes the Dagenham depot, its 87 double-deckers and 150 staff.
But it does not cover EBS's tourist business, London Pride Sightseeing, or its dealership, Ensign Bus & Coach Sales. They will remain at Purfleet.
Leon Daniels, who has been managing director of Ensign Bus Services since 1986, will continue in this role in the new company, which will trade as Ensign Citybus.
"Buses will continue for the time being in the existing blue and silver livery," says Daniels. In addition to the Dagenham depot, a new office for administrative and accounting staff will be set up in the present operating area."
He adds that five extra administrative staff will be taken on to work in the new office by the end of this year.
Ensign Citybus plans to invest heavily in replacing old vehicles: 24 new Dennis Dominator double-deckers will join the fleet this month.
Daniels hopes this investment programme will help the company to win two more London Transport contracts to add to the 10 it already runs.
He says that the local bus service operation was sold to enable the division to expand. The CNT Group, which acquired the bus operation on 29 December, owns Citybus, which operates over 100 double-deck Leyland Olympian coaches in Hong Kong and over the border into China.
John Clymo, Citybus's UK resident director, says: "Although CI\IT has extensive commercial interests in Hong Kong and the Far East, this is its first involvement in the UK. We will be interested in expanding bus operations in this country, not only through Ensign but by further acquisition, if suitable opportunties arise."