1994 was the ‘Year of the Bus’ for Montagu.
Having participated in the buyout of Greater Manchester Buses (South), Montagu brought its bus experience to London and backed the buyouts of three of the ten London operating companies. One of these was CentreWest in 1994, the first of the major London bus privatisations. We sold the business in 1997 to FirstBus plc.
London was one of the biggest bus markets in the world with 3.6 million bus journeys every working day. Everywhere in the UK, bus companies competed to run buses in a deregulated environment, but in London the market remained regulated with the routes run according to contracts awarded by London Transport through a tendering process.
Montagu also invested in Stagecoach Portugal from 1995 in a joint venture with the Perth-based Stagecoach plc. We later sold our stake to Stagecoach.