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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Go-Ahead given for bus takeover
Passengers of a bus
Wilts & Dorset say it is still 'business as usual'
The Office of Fair Trading has cleared a multi-million pound takeover of the Wilts & Dorset Bus Company.

The Go-Ahead Group will pay 31.6m for the company, in a deal first announced in summer.

Based in Poole and employing 800 people, the Wilts & Dorset Bus Company operates 365 buses through Dorset, Wiltshire and South West Hampshire.

Martin Ballinger, group chief executive of Go-Ahead, said: "We are delighted to have acquired the company which is a profitable and high quality business with good growth potential."

For the financial year ending April 2002, the Wilts & Dorset Bus Company generated sales of more than 25m.

A statement on its website read: "We would like to assure all customers that it is very much 'business as usual'.

"The familiar red, black and white buses will continue to run along their well-known routes.

"Moreover, during the coming months we will be looking at ways to improve public transport in the area even further."

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