September 22, 2014 – Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corporation has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of School Bus Holdings Inc., an indirect parent company of Blue Bird Corporation, from The Traxis Group B.V., which is majority owned by funds affiliated with Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and nearly 200,000 buses in operation today. In addition, Blue Bird is the fastest-growing major school bus manufacturer in North America, with market share increasing in each of the past four years, and is the market leader in alternative-fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses.
“HCAC is extremely pleased to partner with Blue Bird’s management and Cerberus to introduce Blue Bird to the public markets,” said Daniel J. Hennessy, Chairman and CEO of HCAC. “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 attractive price. We believe Blue Bird fits squarely into our stated investment criteria, and that as a public company, Blue Bird will have the capital structure, ownership support, operating flexibility and enhanced public image to achieve its maximum potential.”
Chan Galbato, CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, LLC, and non-executive Chairman of Blue Bird, stated, “Blue Bird is a terrific, well-run company with great people and products and we are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with them, as Cerberus will retain a significant ownership interest in the company. We look forward to sharing in the significant value-creation opportunity that Blue Bird offers, in partnership with HCAC, Blue Bird’s management and our new stockholders.”
The Company will continue to be led by current Blue Bird President and CEO Phil Horlock, who added, “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. Under Cerberus’ stewardship, our Blue Bird team has transformed the business through launching exciting new products and features, improving quality and cost structure, and growing sales and market share. We believe this transaction will enable us to maintain our growth momentum with our exceptional workforce building the world’s finest school bus.”
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Mollie Blagg at Western Bus Sales at (800) 258-2473.