School bus transportation services provider Student Transportation of America/Student Transportation of Canada has acquired Pacific Western Transportation, Canada's largest privately-owned transportation company.
The acquisition adds more than 5,000 employees to the STA/STC family of companies and 4,100 vehicles to the fleet, including 950 alternative-fuel and electric buses.
"The merger with Pacific Western is a great day for STA/STC and for Pacific Western," said STA CEO Patrick Vaughn in a news release. "The two organizations could not be better suited for each other, with our mutual devotion to safety and reliability." He added that the companies share similar values and cultures, "and we are all dedicated to safe transportation and to our people."
Pacific Western provides school bus, employee, transit, and coach transportation services to customers throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Yukon. Tom Jezersek, the current president and chief operating officer for Pacific Western, is expected to lead PWT's management and staff following the merger.
Said Michael Colborne, chairman and CEO of PWT: "For decades, the hardworking team at Pacific Western Transportation has put our customers first. We've prioritized safety, ensured reliable services, and forged strong relationships with customers and communities. Now, we are pleased to reach an agreement with STA/STC, a like-minded company devoted to safety and service, that shares our same goals and vision for the company."
Student Transportation's controlling shareholder, a global investment group called CDPQ, and minority shareholder Ullico, both reinvested in the company to support its growth-through-acquisition strategy.
Emmanuel Jaclot, executive vice president and head of infrastructure for CDPQ, said the investment group "is thrilled to support [STA/STC] as it pursues its growth strategy. The acquisition of Pacific Western will combine the expertise of two of Canada's leading players and provide an opportunity to further accelerate the electrification of their fleets, for the benefit of school children and local communities served by Pacific Western and STA/STC across the country."
Transportation services by Pacific Western include those provided under Century Transportation, Cold Lake Bus Lines, Diversified Transportation BC, McCluskey Transportation, Montgomery Bus Lines, On-It Regional Transit, Prairie Bus Lines, SOUTHLAND Transportation, and Standard Bus Contracting BC & YK brands, according to the news release. All operations are expected continue without disruption.