JOHN King, proprietor of Pioneer and Premier Motor Services and Nowra Coaches, by now well known for his entrepreneurial flair for acquiring bus lines, has done it again.
On Wednesday afternoon at around 5pm, he finally took over Wollongong based Rutty’s Bus Service Pty Ltd, and John J. Hill Pty Ltd.
A confessed “bus nut”, who left school at 15, Mr King clinched the around $15 million deal after a planning period of six months.
“What can I say, we were approached by the companies, and after planning for six months, we own it,” Mr King said.
The two companies have a combined staff of approximately 135, and a fleet of 125 buses.
“We seem to specialise in taking over these long established firms,” Mr King said.
“We were only the second owner of Pioneer and now we will be the second owner of both Rutty’s and Hills.
“The two companies have been operating in Wollongong for 70 years.”
Mr King said his company was not there to boast.
“We understand the takeover involves two major firms who have been servicing the Illawarra for a long time.
“This is a great opportunity to merge the two entities, and give the Illawarra a united service instead of a disunited service.”
Mr King said he was on his way to find out finer details, such as the number of passengers carried per year, and the exact number of staff.
“I haven’t got the figures for passengers carried, but it’s a lot, and considering Nowra, our passenger list per year would be in excess of 800,000 to 900,000.”
The new bus service will continue to service the Kiama, Corrimal and Bellambi routes.