Redwing Coaches and John James purchased by REL Capital

February 9, 2022 –  Written by routeone Team

Redwing Coaches and Essex-based John James Luxury Travel have each been purchased by turnaround investment company REL Capital in separate deals. There is a possibility of further acquisitions to follow as entrepreneur Andy Scott looks to build a presence in the coach sector.

In both cases, existing Directors will remain in place and retain a share of the respective businesses. REL, which was founded by Mr Scott, says that Redwing will be restructured and operate as REL Redwing, with a smaller fleet than its current 55 coaches. John James will operate alongside an earlier REL purchase, REL Davian, which has recently invested £1.5m in 13 new coaches to operate from its Tottenham depot.

Mr Scott, 42, says he invests in struggling firms and works in partnership with existing management teams. He is currently in talks with three other operators over possible deals to be completed in the coming months and says that he plans to build a national group of coach companies. Previous business purchases “are now on a high-growth trajectory, safeguarding hundreds of jobs,” REL Capital adds.

REL Group purchases Redwing Coaches and John James Luxury Travel
Andy Scott of REL Capital: ‘Further coach operator purchases possible’
Redwing currently has depots in Croydon, Gravesham and Sheerness. John James Luxury Travel operates from a premises in Romford.

Mr Scott’s purchases are via his UK investment vehicle REL Investment Management, which expects to see its turnover in 2022 almost double to £40m through COVID-19 recovery and acquisitions.

REL Davian, which was rebranded from Davian Coaches after purchase by REL in September 2020, has won 12 new contracts over the last year and the owning group says it will “hopefully return to profit” when tourism-related and private hire work rebounds.

In addition to turning struggling companies round, Mr Scott says that he has previously done the same for his personal life, having battled bankruptcy and mental health difficulties after he “lost it all” in the 2008 financial crisis.

“So when I go and see a company, I have empathy for the business owner. I have been there myself.” He and the REL team work with existing management teams at failing businesses and “steer them to calmer waters before turning them back to profit,” he adds.

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