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ComfortDelGro expands into patient transport in Australia with A$30m acquisition

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COMFORTDELGRO Corp is buying Australian non-emergency patient transport provider National Patient Transport (NPT) for A$30 million (S$30.2 million).

COMFORTDELGRO Corp is buying Australian non-emergency patient transport provider National Patient Transport (NPT) for A$30 million (S$30.2 million).

ComfortDelGro, a land transport company whose businesses include taxis and buses in Singapore and London, said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Monday that it will fund the acquisition with internal resources.

The purchase price is 4.6 times the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of NPT, which operates in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

ComforDelGro currently runs public scheduled bus services in New South Wales and Victoria, and taxi services in Western Australia. NPT will give the group an adjacent business in land transport services, ComfortDelGro said.

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NPT owns a fleet of 144 vehicles that provide a range of healthcare transport services to major metropolitan hospital networks, including walker, hoise and stretcher transport services, and specialist services for high acuity and complex patients. It also operates a registered training organisation and is qualified to deliver and assess a range of non-emergency healthcare transport, first aid and resuscitation courses in Australia.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

ComfortDelGro chief executive and managing director Yang Ban Seng said in a statement: "This is an exciting opportunity for us to expand into an adjacent area of land transport services. It enables us to leverage on our core capabilities in contract, fleet and manpower management whilst broadening our breadth of skills. The non-emergency patient transport business is experiencing strong growth and one that shows great potential with ageing populations in much of the developed world. With this acquisition, we will be able to use our newly acquired skills set to explore similar opportunities in other geographies."