London Stock Exchange Listing
By 1993, only 13 years after the formation of the company, Stagecoach was one of the UK’s leading bus companies valued at £134 million. Sir Brian calculated it was time to float the business on the London Stock Exchange in order to access more capital for new opportunities for buses and trains.
Sir Brian and his team knew a lot about buses but they had a scant knowledge of trains. Never one to rush headlong into a costly new venture, Sir Brian decided to experiment with a Scotland to London service under the Stagecoach Rail brand and passengers responded well to the pilot scheme.
So following privatisation of the rail network in 1995, Stagecoach bid for one of the new rail franchises – South West Trains – the UK’s biggest rail franchise.
Their tender was successful and they became the first private sector company to win a rail franchise.
Today the company continues to operate South West Trains and its rail portfolio includes South Western and East Midlands Trains. Stagecoach also has a 49% stake in Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Rail Group which operates the West Coast Main Line.
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