To meet the growing demand in Middle Tennessee for superior and comprehensive transportation services, Gray Line, the state’s largest tour bus operator, today announced that it has acquired the motor coach and mini bus division of leading ground transportation company, Grand Avenue.
Industry veteran Bruce Neuharth has been named Chief Executive Officer of Gray Line to oversee and grow the combined company. He will be joined on the executive team by Carl Haley, who will serve as Chief Revenue Officer and on the Board of Directors at Gray Line while maintaining his position as CEO of Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue’s livery business will continue to operate independently.
The agreement maximizes the strengths of both businesses. Gray Line is an acknowledged leader in fleet operations, safety standards, training, and efficient management; Grand Avenue is well known for its customer service, flexibility and its ability to exceed the demand of customers. The combined company will employee more than 200 Tennesseans.
“Combining Gray Line’s operational excellence, bus expertise and depth of fleet with Grand Avenue’s facilities, customer service and brand strength is a winning move for both of our companies, as well as our customers,” Neuharth added. “Realizing that our companies’ motor coach operations complemented each other perfectly, we jumped at the opportunity to join forces. After many years in the transportation industry, and leading multiple strategic transactions, never have I seen two entities better poised to partner.”
Prior to the acquisition, Gray Line of Tennessee was the 22nd largest motor coach company in the United States. This transaction will likely place the business in the top 20 when the next rankings are released. The greater resources will be necessary as the company meets the growing regional demand for comprehensive and high quality transportation. “We didn’t join forces just to get bigger, but we wanted for each company to learn from the other and implement best practices across all of our operations,” stated Haley.
XMI Holdings, Inc., in partnership with TNInvestco, made a growth equity investment in Gray Line in Sept. 2012. Since Haley founded Grand Avenue in 2009, the company has grown into Middle Tennessee’s largest and most diverse ground transportation provider serving 450 cities worldwide with a fleet of 45 vehicles, including sedans, vans, SUVs and vintage cars.
“We are thrilled to be working with Carl and his team,” added Michael D. Shmerling, Chairman of Gray Line, “and remain as committed as ever to managing a safe, reliable and modern fleet.”Tags: Carl Haley, gray line, Middle Tennessee transportation, mini bus service, motor coach, Nashville transportation, state transportation