27 Aug 2021

Ritchies sold to New York-based investment giant

3:34 pm on 27 August 2021

One of the country's oldest and largest transport operators, Ritchies, is to be sold a New York-based investment giant, KKR.

Ritchies Coachlines.

Ritchies Coachlines. Photo: Supplied.

The family owned firm, founded in Temuka in 1935, has a fleet of more than 1600 vehicles and provides public bus services in Auckland, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Queenstown and Whangarei, as well as school bus services around the country, and long haul charter and tours.

Ritchies director of operations Andrew Ritchie said the takeover was the start of a new chapter for the firm.

"We were very impressed by KKR's long track record of adding value to the businesses, investments and acquisitions they have made across numerous industry sectors around the world."

The Ritchie family is maintaining a small holding in the business, but no other details of the transaction were disclosed.

It is KKR's first infrastructure acquisition in New Zealand, although it previously bought the Natural Pet Food Group and Education Perfect, and also owns the well known Australian based accounting software company MYOB.

"We see continued demand for high-quality, greener public transport solutions in New Zealand," KKR Infrastructure director Andrew Jennings said.

"Buses account for 75 percent of total public transport trips made in the country and play a critical role in connecting people to places. They also represent a highly visible opportunity to encourage the adoption of zero-emissions technology."

The sale needs the approval of the Overseas Investment Office.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs