Acquisition Expected to Strengthen Hotard’s Market Position
Source: Hotard Coaches, Inc.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – December 14, 1999 – Hotard Coaches, Inc. of New Orleans, LA, announced today that it has agreed to sell the company to Laidlaw, Inc. (NYSE: LDW), North America’s leading provider of transportation services. Family-owned and operated for 40 years, Hotard Coaches and its subsidiaries provide motorcoach transportation, guided tours, destination management services and packaged vacations to customers from offices in New Orleans, Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Biloxi, Mississippi and Washington, D.C.
Hotard Coaches ( http://www.hotard.com), established in 1960, started as a small one-bus operation offering regularly scheduled service between Vacherie and New Orleans, Louisiana. The company has since grown into one of the largest travel services companies in the Gulf South, with 220 employees and an 83-vehicle fleet.
The Hotard Family believes that by selling the company they will be able to provide expanded opportunities for their employees and additional services to their customers. “The tremendous growth in the New Orleans convention and tourism market provides us with a unique opportunity to continue growing the business,” said Eva Hotard, President of Hotard Coaches. “Laidlaw can provide us with the resources we need to take advantage of this market opportunity while maintaining the same high level of service and safety that our customers have come to expect from Hotard Coaches.”
The day-to-day operations of Hotard will not be affected by the sale of the company. The existing management team will stay in place, with Eva Hotard continuing in her position as President of the company. The company will continue to operate under the Hotard Coaches name.
The acquisition of Hotard by Laidlaw will not affect the ownership of the stock of Gray Line of New Orleans, Inc., which will continue to be jointly owned by Hotard Coaches, Inc. and New Orleans Steamboat Company. Gray Line of New Orleans offers daily sightseeing tours of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana.
Hotard Coaches was represented by New Orleans based Legacy Capital Fund, Inc. and Phelps Dunbar, L.L.P.
About Laidlaw, Inc.
Laidlaw is North America’s largest provider of school busing, inter-city and municipal transit, patient transportation and emergency department management services.