TORONTO — The acquisition of the third-largest school bus operator in North America, Student Transportation Inc. (STI), was completed on Friday.
Under the arrangement, a company called Spinner Can AcquireCo Inc. acquired all of STI’s outstanding common shares. The purchasing company is sponsored by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Ullico Inc.
CDPQ, an institutional investor that manages public pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec, has been invested in STI for 16 years, most of that time as the largest shareholder. Ullico is a labor-owned insurance and investment company based in Washington, D.C.
STI was founded by Denis Gallagher in 1997. Just over 20 years later, the company now transports 1.25 million students in the U.S. and Canada with a fleet of 13,500 school buses.
Along with its core school transportation group, the STI stable includes a managed services group and the SafeStop app, which provides school bus status notifications for parents and performance data for transportation staff. The company also took a minority stake in child rideshare provider HopSkipDrive last fall.
The proposed purchase of STI was unveiled in February. Shareholders approved the plan on April 19. Then, on Wednesday, STI obtained a final court order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approving the arrangement.
STI shareholders received US$7.50 per common share in cash, and the company will be de-listed from the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
With the announcement of the proposed acquisition in February, Gallagher noted that STI will remain focused on its mission.
“We will continue to be the North American leader in student transportation,” he said, “and our unwavering commitment to our employees, customers, safety, service, and innovation will remain unchanged.”