Stagecoach has run the network since 2007 and still has six years left on its contract. However, the MEN says that the company wants to ‘pull the plug’ on its deal early, and will officially announce the move on Tuesday. Neither TfGM or Stagecoach have commented on the supposed deal, although council leaders were reportedly briefed on the plans yesterday.
RATP operates a range of transport networks around the world, including the Paris Metro, the Fullington Auto Bus Company in the USA and the London United bus company in the British capital.
Given that the Metrolink is reportedly profitable, it seems strange that Stagecoach would bail so early into its contract. We await Tuesday with interest to see if the reports bear fruit.
UPDATE Tuesday 2 August 2011: An official announcement confirmed the news this morning, but didn’t give much away:
Stagecoach Group plc (“Stagecoach”) yesterday completed the sale of its subsidiary, Stagecoach Metrolink Limited (“SML”), to Ratp Dev UK Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ratp Développement.
SML operates and maintains the Manchester Metrolink tram network under a ten-year contract with Transport for Greater Manchester (formerly, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive) through to July 2017. The gross assets of SML as at 30 April 2011 were £16.2m.
The sale relates only to SML. The sale does not include the Group’s Sheffield tram operations, and the Group is not engaged in any discussions regarding a sale of the Sheffield tram operations.
The comments to this post discuss the news further.
[Image credit: Ingy The Wingy]