School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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industry news 12 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 Blue Bird to be acquired, will be publicly traded company (BY THOMAS MCMAHON) FORT VALLEY, Ga. — School bus manufacturer Blue Bird was on its way to becoming a publicly traded company, with a purchase by a Houston-based capital frm that was pending as of press time. Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. (HCAC) announced on Sept. 22 that it had entered into an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of School Bus Holdings Inc., an indirect parent company of Blue Bird Corp., from The Traxis Group BV, which is majority-owned by funds af- fliated with Cerberus Capital Management LP. The aggregate equity purchase price will be $255 million, composed of cash and shares of HCAC common stock. Also, HCAC will assume about $235 million of Blue Bird's existing indebtedness. Blue Bird was acquired by the Cerberus affliate in 2006. Earlier that year, the school bus manufacturer had imple- mented a restructuring plan. Business has been on the upswing for Blue Bird in recent years, with total sales having increased about 40% from 2012 to 2014. Daniel J. Hennessy, chairman and CEO of HCAC, said that his frm is "extremely pleased to partner with Blue Bird's management and Cerberus to introduce Blue Bird to the public markets. We are acquiring an iconic American brand with an 87‐year history of innovation and product leadership led by a superb management team at a very at- tractive price." Chan Galbato, CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advi- sory Co. LLC and non‐executive chairman of Blue Bird, said that the school bus manufacturer is "a terrifc, well‐ run company with great people and products, and we are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with them, as Cerberus will retain a signifcant ownership inter- est in the company." Blue Bird will continue to be led by current President and CEO Phil Horlock. "We are very excited for Blue Bird to become a public company by partnering with HCAC and delighted that Cerberus will remain a major stockholder," Horlock said. "Under Cerberus' stewardship, our Blue Bird team has transformed the business through launching exciting new products and features, improving quality and cost struc- ture, and growing sales and market share. We believe this transaction will enable us to maintain our growth momen- tum with our exceptional workforce building the world's fnest school bus." School bus manufacturer Blue Bird was on its way to becoming a public company, with a pending acquisition by Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A former school bus driver whose unattended bus rolled into a small child in April pleaded guilty to reckless endanger- ment and other charges, authorities said in September. In the April 7 incident, investigators found that 61-year-old Arturo Harris, then a Prince George's County Public Schools bus driver, left four students unattended on his bus while he went into a high school to use the restroom. The bus rolled down a hill and across the road toward children waiting at an elementary school bus stop. The driv- erless vehicle then struck a 6-year-old boy and came to rest. An auxiliary police offcer who wit- nessed the accident pulled the boy from underneath the bus and stayed with him until paramedics arrived and transported the boy to the hospital. The four students who were on the bus were also transported to the hospi- tal with minor injuries. All fve children were released from the hospital the same day. Police arrested Harris on multiple charges. In September, Harris pleaded guilty to one count of leaving an unattended child, three counts of reckless endan- germent and one count of failing to curb the wheels of an unattended ve- hicle. Prosecutors asked that Harris be sentenced to 15 years, suspend all but 30 days — which can be served on weekends — and three years of super- vised probation. His sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 7. Driver in runaway bus case pleads guilty (BY THOMAS MCMAHON)

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