FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird is now a public company, listed on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “BLBD.”
The stock exchange debut follows Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp.’s completion of its acquisition of School Bus Holding Inc., which does business under the Blue Bird name, from the Traxis Group BV.
The Traxis Group BV is majority owned by funds affiliated with Cerberus Capital Management LP. Cerberus affiliates will continue to own about 58% of the outstanding common shares.
The business combination was approved at Hennessy’s special meeting of stockholders that concluded on Monday. As part of the transaction, Hennessy changed its name to Blue Bird Corp.
“We are thrilled to have completed our business combination with Blue Bird,” said Daniel J. Hennessy, the former chairman and CEO of Hennessy, who will assume the role of vice chairman of the combined company. “Blue Bird is an iconic brand that has demonstrated significant growth momentum. We are excited by the prospects for continued growth as management executes on their strategy.”
The company will have a new board of directors that will bring in six members of Blue Bird’s existing board. Chan Galbato, CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company LLC, who has served as non-executive chairman of the Blue Bird board of directors since 2009, will continue in that capacity with the combined company.
Phil Horlock will continue to serve as president and CEO of Blue Bird and will hold a seat on the new board. The remainder of the Blue Bird management team will also stay in place, and the company will remain located in Fort Valley, Georgia.
“Today is an exciting day for Blue Bird and marks a new chapter in our history,” Horlock said. “We have a strong reputation for product quality, as our focus has always been to build the world’s finest school bus. … We will continue to pursue new opportunities that drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability.”
Company officials said that Blue Bird has sold more than 550,000 buses since its formation in 1927, and there are about 180,000 Blue Bird buses in operation today.