Deal doubles Grampian
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• Midland Scottish is about to be bought by GRT Holdings in a move which will more than double the size of the Grampian Group.
It will be the first Scottish Bus Group company to go to a private bus firm.
Aberdeen-based GRT is the holding company for the former municipal Grampian Transport, the subject of a management/ employee buy-out in 1989.
The 770-staff of Falkirkbased Midland Scottish will be given the opportunity to take part in GRIM Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).
GRT is set to clinch the deal with Midlands despite a bid from the Midlands management team, which Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind ruled would receive a 5% price preference.
Midlands runs a fleet of 282 buses out of six depots in and around Central region. GRT's chairman and chief executive Moir Lockhead says one of his first moves will be to improve the quality and performance of Midland's services, by investing in new buses.
Ian Irwin, chairman of the Scottish Transport Group, says he is pleased that Midland is to be sold to another Scottishbased company: "I am sure that this sale will secure a good future for the Midland workforce."
The Transport and General Workers' Union's Scottish Secretary David Shoat says the Midland Scottish workforce were "disappointed" their bid failed, "but if we'd picked a second-best, we'd have picked Grampian rather than any other private buyer".