SINGAPORE -- Singapore-based transportation company ComfortDelGro announced on Wednesday that it will take full control of its joint venture with Australian bus operator Cabcharge Australia for 186 million Australian dollars ($122 million).
ComfortDelGro currently owns 51% of the joint venture, named ComfortDelGro Cabcharge. The Singaporean company will acquire the remaining 49% of the joint venture once approval from the Australian authorities is obtained.
The joint venture was established in 2005 after ComfortDelGro and Cabcharge Australia jointly acquired Australian bus operator Westbus Group, marking ComfortDelGro's entry into the Australian market. Since then, the joint venture has been growing its fleet of buses in Australia through a series of mergers and acquisitions. It now has a combined fleet of 1,712 buses and around 2,300 employees, making it one of the largest private bus operators in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria, with strong footholds in major cities, including Sydney and Melbourne.
ComfortDelGro CEO Kua Hong Pak said in a statement that the acquisition will allow the company to "seek new opportunities to grow the business" in Australia, where the company sees growth potential.
To compensate for the small domestic transportation market in Singapore, ComfortDelGro has expanded aggressively in overseas markets. In the most recent quarter ended in September, overseas business made up 41.3% of the total operating profit. The Australian business accounted for 12.5% of the operating profit and was the third-largest contributor after Singapore (58.7%) and the U.K. and Ireland (17.6%).