May 30, 2019 / 11:41 AM / 5 months ago

Factbox: British owner puts long-running Greyhound buses up for sale

(This may 30 story corrects reference to Greyhound in second paragaph to “largest”)

(Reuters) - Intercity bus service Greyhound, which has been travelling American highways for more than a century, is up for grabs again after British owner FirstGroup said it is looking to sell the business.

Greyhound is the largest operator of scheduled intercity coaches in North America, carrying around 17 million passengers a year and serving some 2,400 destinations but faces tough competition from low-cost airlines.

Following are some key dates from the company’s history

1914

The bus operator traces its roots back to 1914 in Hibbing, Minnesota when Swedish immigrant Carl Eric Wickman began transporting miners for 15 cents a ride.

1934

The Academy Award winning movie “It Happened One Night,” starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, prominently featured a Greyhound bus in the story, helping to spur interest in bus travel nationwide.

1939

Greyhound was chosen as the official bus carrier of the World’s Fair in New York that year.

1941

Greyhound acquired 80% of Western Canadian Greyhound Lines and a 10% ownership in Motor Coach Industries, Canada’s largest bus builder.

1961

Greyhound began manufacturing its own buses.

1983

Greyhound endured a seven-week strike over proposed wage cuts for its unionised employees.

1987

The Greyhound Corporation divested its U.S. bus operations. The new company, Greyhound Lines Inc established its headquarters in Dallas.

1990

Greyhound Lines’ unionised workforce began a strike that continued for three years. As a result of mounting losses, Greyhound Lines filed for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code while bus operations continued.

1991

Greyhound emerged from bankruptcy reorganisation and Frank Schmeider was named its new CEO.

1993

Greyhound drivers finally ended their strike.

1998

Greyhound unions ratified a six-year labour agreement, averting a repeat of the labour strife seen in 1983 and 1990.

1999

Greyhound Lines’ equity shareholders agreed to a merger with Laidlaw Inc, bringing together the U.S. and Canadian bus lines for the first time under one CEO.

2007

On Oct. 1, Greyhound’s parent company, Laidlaw International was acquired by FirstGroup who paid $2.8 billion for Laidlaw’s shares and took on $800 million of Laidlaw debt.

2015

FirstGroup became the first international coach operator to launch domestic services in Mexico.

2019

Owner FirstGroup commences process to sell Greyhound.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir

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