BDO advises Go West in sale to SeaLink Travel Group

06 May 2021

BDO is proud to have acted as lead adviser to Go West in its sale to SeaLink Travel Group. The Bunbury-based integrated transport provider, established and run by the Haoust family, has agreed to a deal with potential consideration in excess of $100 million.

A home-grown success story best known for bus and coach transport, Go West began in 1981 with a single bus and grew to become one of Western Australia’s pre-eminent specialty providers of charter, rental and tour vehicles to the resources and public transit sectors, filling more than 500,000 seats monthly.

The company’s expansion is the result of its clever uptake of cutting-edge technology – including innovative fatigue management and asset monitoring systems – and rigorous focus on top-tier resource client service over the years.

Forging close ties to the booming Western Australian resources market, Go West’s established regional infrastructure in key mining hubs including Port Hedland, Newman and Karratha, made the family-owned company an attractive prospect for SeaLink Travel Group, complementing its portfolio of world class transit providers.

“With the support of SeaLink, Go West will continue to grow well into the future,” said Go West Founder and Director Stan Haoust. “As fellow operators supporting the resources sector, SeaLink will enable Go West to continue to tackle bigger projects and importantly SeaLink aligns with Go West’s ethos which is Family Spirit, Frugality, Adaptiveness, Innovation and Safety.”.

SeaLink is Australia’s largest integrated transport provider, moving more than 206 million customers per year. Its holdings include Captain Cook Cruises, SeaLink Rottnest Ferries and Swan Transit, largely responsible for Perth’s urban bus network.

The acquisition, valued at 5.3x normalised LTM EBITDA, will see the existing management team retained, including Director David Haoust.

“Go West has valuable contract counterparties and delivers an essential service for these clients,” said SeaLink Group Chief Executive Officer Clint Feuerherdt. “The operations of Go West were unaffected by the pandemic and continued at near 100 per cent levels throughout, keeping their communities and worksites connected.”

BDO’s Perth Mergers & Acquisitions Team advised Go West on all aspects of the transaction, while SeaLink were advised by Gresham in Sydney. The Perth-based BDO M&A team predict more mining services deals to come.

“Australia’s buoyant economy and strong industry growth will see significant interest and further sales of Western Australian mining services businesses to local and international buyers,” said Todd Grover, the lead BDO partner on the transaction.