The south coast’s largest coach operator, Lucketts Travel Group, has been purchased by National Express as the family-run business of 94 years changes hands of the business to the biggest national coach network in the UK.
The luxury coach hire group from Fareham, which has run since 1924, employs 350 people and operates Coliseum Coaches, Mortons Travel, Solent Coaches, and Worthing Coaches.
Lucketts Travel Group will keep its name, even after being handed to National Express.
Sean Woodward, Leader of Fareham Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Heritage and Culture, praised the move saying he is glad that Lucketts, a ‘very well-established company’ and a major source of employment in Fareham is moving ‘onto their next stage’.
The new owners will carry on the services of Lucketts as usual whilst ‘building upon what Lucketts has developed’.
Director of Lucketts, Ian Luckett, said:
We are delighted that Lucketts Group is joining National Express with whom we have had a strong relationship for many years. We know we can trust them to look after what our family built up and we are confident that they will be able to take the business to the next level.
Whilst the value of the purchase has not been announced, it is expected to be in the millions, with Lucketts Travel Group having a turnover of £25.2m and a profit of £1m before tax in 2019.
Tom Stables, National Express managing director for UK and Germany, said that the company ‘already have a strong relationship with Lucketts’ so they know it has ‘an excellent record’ of its high-quality services.
Further, the acquisition will allow National Express to further expand into ‘the private hire and tours market’, which looks forward to ‘welcoming all our new colleagues to National Express’.