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ComfortDelGro unit Metroline sells London bus garage for £25m, buys property for £7m

METROLINE West Limited, a wholly-owned UK subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Corporation, has inked agreements for the proposed £25 million (S$42.5 million) sale of a bus garage and the proposed £7 million purchase of an industrial property, both in west London.

As one of the largest bus operators in London, Metroline runs a fleet of some 1,700 buses plying routes mainly in north, west, central London and Hertfordshire. It operates 14 garages across London.

Metroline on Sept 30 entered into an agreement for the disposal of its property at Alperton Bus Garage to Redington Developments (Athlon Road) Limited.

Located at Ealing Road in Wembley, the bus garage is a freehold property with a total land area of 7,200 square metres (sq m), ComfortDelGro said on Tuesday morning.

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The sale consideration of £25 million was arrived at after real estate consultancy Knight Frank conducted a marketing campaign targeting “well-funded” buyers keen to acquire residential-led development opportunities, and taking into account commercial considerations including prevailing market conditions and the location of the property.

As at Sept 30, the Alperton bus garage had a net book value (NBV) of £4.7 million. The excess of the sale consideration over the NBV, after deducting all estimated expenses and tax charges, is £16.5 million.

Meanwhile, Metroline on Sept 30 also entered into an agreement for the acquisition of Units 1-3 Capital Business Centre from Redington Developments.

Located at Athlon Road in Wembley, the freehold property has a total land area of 4,400 sq m, said ComfortDelGro. Online searches show that there is a warehouse facility with a large yard area at the address.

The purchase consideration of £7 million was arrived at in consultation with Knight Frank and takes into account commercial considerations such as prevailing market conditions and the location of the property in conjunction with the sale of the Alperton bus garage.

The proposed purchase will be funded by internal resources.

Both the proposed sale and purchase are conditional upon, among other things, obtaining satisfactory planning permission from the local planning authority.

Both transactions are expected to complete before October 2021, with a long stop date of Sept 30, 2022.

They are not expected to have any material impact on ComfortDelGro’s consolidated net tangible assets or earnings per share for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2019.

Shares of ComfortDelGro closed at S$2.40 on Monday, up two cents or 0.84 per cent.