British owner puts Greyhound bus line up for sale

June 4, 2019

An icon of the American highway system is up for sale.

Reuters reported last week that the British firm that owns Greyhound has put the bus line up for sale. Greyhound has struggled to compete with low-cost airlines in areas where the bus line typically serves. Relatively low oil prices have also hurt the bus line as more Americans are traveling by personal car thanks to cheap gas. Greyhound was acquired by British firm FirstGroup in 2007 for $3.6 billion.

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FirstGroup did not say how much it will ask for Greyhound in the sale, but CEO of the company, Matthew Gregory, hinted that much of its value is in its name.

"It's an iconic brand, (and) has the biggest intercity network of coaches in the U.S., so I think it's something a lot of people will be interested in," he said.

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The British company also runs tens of thousands of school buses in the U.S. via a contract business. Greyhound has little in common with the school bus business, which made its sale more palatable for FirstGroup. The British firm said that it still plans to hold onto its school bus contract business with any sale of Greyhound.

Greyhound, founded in 1914, has seen its ups and downs over the past decades. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the 1990s but emerged with more modern buses in the early 2000s. Presently, Greyhound carries 17 million passengers per year and travels to 2,400 destinations.

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