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Helping A-Line Coaches Coventry get back on the road

Find out how Close Brothers Asset Finance helped a coach hire business turn their fortunes around.

The customer 

Established in 1966, A-Line Coaches Coventry Ltd provide coach hire for businesses, schools and private groups across Coventry and Warwickshire. Whilst successful today, in 2012, the company was struggling – turning over £570k per annum with a loss of £20k. They were running 14 vehicles - nine of which were financed by Close Brothers Asset Finance – but unfortunately their Directors were struggling to grow the business in the long term.  

The challenge 

One of their employees, James Swords, approached Bob Taylor – a Divisional Manager at Close Brothers Asset Finance and expressed his desire to take over the business. James showed strong enthusiasm about turning the business around, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the bus and coach industry. 

The solution 

In late December 2012, Bob negotiated a takeover of the company’s existing finance agreements, allowing James to take over the company in January 2013. With Close Brothers’ assistance, A-Line Coaches have been able to update their fleet on a regular basis and make prudent buying decisions. Some of the agreements have included VAT deferrals, allowing the company to successfully manage their cash flow. Since 2012, we have transacted 44 new agreements and A-Line Coaches Coventry have had an exemplary payment history.

To make the process as simple as possible, Bob combines the company’s agreements into one deal on an annual basis, ensuring the business only has to manage one payment per month.

The outcome 

This had a great impact on the business – since 2013, the company’s turnover has grown to over £1.3 million and they now make a £200,000 profit. The company now has a fleet of over 30 vehicles – 24 of which are financed by Close Brothers Asset Finance. They work with many businesses in the area, including Coventry and Warwick universities, Warwick Country Council, MTC in Coventry and more. 

James Swords, Director of A-Line Coaches Coventry said: “Without the chance given and trust gained by Close Brothers and in particular Mr Taylor the growth of A-Line Coaches Coventry would have been restricted. We have and will continue to enjoy a strong working relationship.”