Souter Investments Completes Sale of OnniBus.com
Thursday, 04 October 2018
Souter Investments is delighted to announce that OnniBus.com, the market leading Finnish intercity bus operator which transformed the public transport market in Finland, has been acquired by Koiviston Auto.
OnniBus.com was founded by Finnish entrepreneurs Lauri Helke, Petteri Rantala and Pekka Motto in 2012 and quickly became a disruptive influence on the Finnish intercity transport market.
Following growth capital investment from Souter Investments in 2014, OnniBus.com relaunched offering a fast and reliable Finnish intercity coach network. The company pioneered the use of dynamic, yield managed pricing and built an online distribution and sales model via its website www.onnibus.com. Today OnniBus.com serves more than 300,000 passengers every month, and operates a national network connecting customers in over 120 cities, towns and villages across Finland. The business employs more than 230 people.
In 2015, OnniBus.com was voted first in a public survey of who provided the best customer experience in Finland, and in 2016 OnniBus.com was ranked number one for customer communication and as the fourth most trusted organisation in Finland, ranking only behind the Red Cross, Save the Children and UNICEF.
Lauri Helke, Chief Executive of OnniBus.com said: “I am very happy to announce that OnniBus.com and Koiviston Auto are joining forces, combining two iconic Finnish public transport businesses. Together we are well placed to continue the OnniBus.com growth story and we look forward to developing many new business ideas and opportunities as part of the Koiviston group.”
Alongside growth capital, Souter Investments provided financial and management support as well as strategic guidance and assistance. Behind the scenes Souter Investments also worked with management to professionalise the business and invest in systems, processes and people, including developing a major new ecommerce platform.
John Berthinussen, Investment Director at Souter Investments commented: “OnniBus.com is a great example of a team of entrepreneurs spotting a market opportunity and going for it. Against the backdrop of a period of great innovation, change and disruption in the transport and mobility industry, Souter Investments has been delighted to provide our financial, management and operational support to Lauri, Petteri and their team, together creating a true market leading business.”
Antti Norrlin, Chief Executive of Koiviston Auto added: “Growing by acquisitions has always been a part of Koiviston Auto’s strategy. By teaming up with OnniBus.com we will get a great deal of new knowledge in marketing, online sales and dynamic pricing. These are exactly the things we need in order to offer even better service to our customers. The intercity network of OnniBus.com will be expanded and the great OnniBus.com brand and services will be developed under the supervision of the present OnniBus.com management.”
Lauri Helke added: “From a customer perspective there will be no change to what OnniBus.com does. We remain totally focussed on providing our customers with consistently great service and developing innovative, fantastic value travel choices. You can still book great value, fast, friendly and reliable travel across Finland from €1 and a €1 booking fee on our website at www.onnibus.com.”
“Over time we look forward to working with Antti and his team to integrate OnniBus.com and Koiviston, creating a bigger, better and more convenient network of travel, and to provide other services to our customers. The future is very bright, and we see great potential for continued growth.”
Souter Investments and exiting shareholders were advised by Tero Jormanainen of Roschier, Helsinki and Koiviston Auto by Olli Hyvönen of Eversheds, Helsinki.
OnniBus.com is an express coach operator offering fast, cheap and reliable city to city travel across Finland. OnniBus.com operates more than 180 departures a day, connecting more than 120 Finnish cities and towns. Tickets can be booked online at www.OnniBus.com.
OnniBus.com operates a fleet of luxury double deck coaches, equipped with reclining leather seats, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, free at-seat power outlets for charging mobile phones, tablets and laptops, and toilet facilities. Cities and towns served by OnniBus.com include: Helsinki, Espoo, Heinola, Hämeenlinna, Iisalmi, Imatra, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kemi, Kokkola, Kotka, Kouvola, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Oulu, Pori, Porvoo, Rauma, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Seinäjoki, Tampere, Turku, Vantaa ja Vaasa. OnniBus.com was founded in Tampere in 2011. More information about the company is available at www.onnibus.com.
About Koiviston Auto
Koiviston Auto Group is the largest bus operating company in Finland. This year Koiviston Auto is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Koiviston Auto’s turnover is €169 Million. The company employs 2,100 people and operates with 1,000 buses. Bus companies Helsingin Bussiliikenne, Jyväskylän Liikenne, Koiviston Auto, Koskilinjat, Kuopion Liikenne, Porvoon Liikenne and Satakunnan Liikenne operate a nationwide travel network all the way from Helsinki to Lapland serving 6.8 million passengers every month. In addition to intercity and regional travel, a major part of Koiviston Auto’s business is the operation of tendered local bus transport contracts. For more details please visit www.koivistonauto.fi.
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is the family investment office of Sir Brian Souter, co-founder and Chairman of Stagecoach Group plc. It makes investments across a broad range of asset classes, with a primary focus on private equity and a portfolio of more than 30 direct private equity investments.
2018 investments have included Broadway Partners and DMC Canotec, whilst Souter Investments also recently announced the successful sale of First Scottish Group.
For more details please visit www.souterinvestments.com.