IBC loses battle on :ompany carve-up
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-1E. NATIONAL Bus nipany has lost its battle to :p four of its largest operat; subsidiaries intact after • nember 1.
fransport Secretary NichoRidley has directed NBC carve United Automobile -vices into three parts, RibMotor Services into three Crosville Motor Seres into two parts (one glish, one Welsh) and Lon n Country Bus Services o four parts.
Ridley said the main objec e of NBC under the 1985 ansport Act is to promote ;twined and fair competition th between its subsidiaries other operators.
.,ast year the NBC board. iposed the division of BrisOmnibus, Southdown, iited Counties, Alder Valand United Automobile, t considered it was not apipriate to split up Ribble, osville and London Coonbecause it would weaken ir competitive position and ay their privatisation.
'My view is that these ee very large companies ild, if left in tact; LITImilk the developments of npetition in large areas of
• country and 'so deny ny bus passengers the ear • benefits that deregulation designed to bring," Ridley I.
-le said he had reached the :ision on the basis of a de tailed analysis provided by consultants Price Waterhouse.
Part of United Automobile will join NBC's East Yorkshire subsidiary and part of Ribble will join Cumberland Motor • Services, a suggestiori. put forward by NBC.
Ridley said his decision .would resolve the uncertainty about the future structure of the companies and would enable local managers' employees to consider whether to make buy out proposals. "1 very much hope that they decide to do so".
NBC• chairman Robert Brook had hoped that company managers would be given prior notice of the directive, but in the event this did nor happen and the first most heard of it was on Friday evening's television news.
NBC is now expected to start advertising its subsidiaries for sale shortly, although outside bids for companies will not be allowed to preempt management/employee buy-outs.
NBC subsidiaries already progressing buy-out plans include Hampshire Bus, Midland Red North, Midland Red West and Southern Vectis.
I-Lints and Dorset Engineering has closed its formal engineering function and started a new spares distribution service for all types of bus and coach spares.