US global investment firm KKR set to acquire leading New Zealand transport company, Ritchies Transport

Global investment firm, KKR has reached agreement to buy New Zealand bus and coach company, Ritchies Transport.

Ritchies Transport, founded in 1935 and with its origins in South Canterbury, is one of the largest transport providers in New Zealand, with a fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles and a network of 42 strategically located depots across the country. The company provides the Government, local councils, and private clients with public transport solutions.

Leading law firm, MinterEllisonRuddWatts advised Ritchies Transport on the sale.

The MinterEllisonRuddWatts team advised on all aspects of the sale to KKR and was led by Corporate Partner Neil Millar, Senior Associate Tayla Johnston and property Partner, David Gilbert.

On reaching agreement, Neil Millar said: “With the Ritchie family having been a long standing and valued client of the firm, we are delighted to see almost 90 years of their hard work and leadership come to fruition.

“The family has built an iconic Kiwi business and it’s great to see KKR choose Ritchies Transport as its first infrastructure investment here, in New Zealand. KKR have shown great interest in high quality, greener transport solutions. This is a passion for the family and so selling the business to an investor with the same commitment to sustainable transport is exactly what our client had hoped for.”

The deal is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and is expected to be completed by early 2022.