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Clearance Application From Canterbury Bus Firm

Issued 2 July 2002

Commission Receives Clearance Application From Canterbury Bus Firm

The Commerce Commission has received a clearance application from Christchurch based Red Bus Limited to acquire up to 100% of the shares or assets of Leopard Coachlines Limited.

Red Bus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Christchurch City Holdings Limited, which is a Local Authority Trading Entity owned by the Christchurch City Council. Christchurch City Holdings also owns shares in the Orion Group, Lyttleton Port Company and Christchurch International Airport.

Red Bus and Leopard both operate various bus routes in the Christchurch and surrounding areas under contracts granted by Environment Canterbury, the Canterbury Regional Council. In addition, Leopard operates school bus, charter, ski field and in-bound tourism services under contracts. Red Bus intends to merge Leopard’s urban bus route business with its own existing business.

Leopard entered the urban bus market in 1995. It has always had a major interest in the tourism market and now wishes to focus entirely on that market.

In considering the application under the Commerce Act, the Commission’s role is to determine whether the merger has the effect of substantially lessening competition in any market.

A public version of Red Bus’s application will soon be available on request from the Commerce Commission. Please contact Catherine Best, (04) 924 3654.

Ends

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