Queanbeyan-based charter bus operator Deane Transport has gone into administration in a bid to restructure the debt-laden business.
It has appointed national restructuring firm Vincents as administrators but will continue to trade while seeking a new partner.
Company principal Brenton Deane said Deane’s operations had grown rapidly in recent years and demands on capital were likely to become overwhelming.
“We’d love to see a new player come on board to assist in the restructure,” he said.
Administrator Tony Lane says the outlook for restructuring the company, which employees about 17 casual and full-time workers, was positive.
“The debt position of the company meant that current operations were going to become unsustainable,” he said. “The decision to appoint an administrator gives the company the best chance of restructuring its operations and keeping local jobs intact.
“There’s over a dozen local jobs at stake here. We’ll be doing all we can to work with the existing operators and other interested parties to see the business preserved and those jobs maintained.”
He said there was a range of factors involved in the company’s predicament rather than any one cause or failure, saying it had been a victim of its own success.
“They’ve grown quite rapidly over the past four years. The financials exhibit strong revenue growth but it’s a tale of a lack of working capital,” Mr Lane said.
He said the company had managed to exploit a niche in the local and regional market and was relatively well positioned as far as its competitors were concerned.
Mr Lane said the revenue numbers contradicted any claims that the state of the economy may have played a role.
He praised the attitude of the directors and said administration was an opportunity to rebirth a business that had developed a strong reputation.
Deane posted on social media that the company was working closely with the Administrator to ensure uninterrupted service while the business continued to trade as usual.
“Our Board and all our staff are committed to ensuring that our excellent reputation for quality service is not diminished, and you will see no change to the way in which we continue to deliver market-leading service,” it said.
“We want to thank you all in advance for your kind words of support and encouragement during this stressful period. As many of you will know, being in business has its challenges and rewards – we expect this process to be rewarding as we emerge stronger and better from this phase; however, it is still a challenge … but one we’re up to.”
“We’re all extremely positive about our future as the Canberra Region’s #1 choice operator and with your ongoing support, we will maintain that position.”
Deane Transport Services is a family-owned bus and coach charter company that services the Canberra and Snowy Mountains regions.
It runs a fleet of 20 coaches ranging from 27-34 seat mini-buses to 48-65 seat buses.