PEI

Charlottetown businessman buys piece of Ambassatours Gray Line

P.E.I.'s Coach Atlantic announced the purchase of Ambassatour's Absolute Charters Inc., Thursday morning. 

The sale involves about 140 employees and 80 vehicles

'We're passionate about the bus business. We believe in what we do. That's not going to change,' says Mike Cassidy, president of Coach Atlantic. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

P.E.I.'s Coach Atlantic announced the purchase of Ambassatour's Absolute Charters Inc., the bus division of Ambassatours Gray Line, Thursday morning. 

The sale will involve 140 employees and 80 vehicles, according to a news release. 

Ambassatours has been in operation for 32 years providing sightseeing tours and bus charters across the Atlantic region. 

Mike Cassidy, who owns Coach Atlantic, said he met with Dennis Campbell, president of Ambassatours Gray Line, in March to discuss the sale. 

"Tourism is very, very important to our region, as well as bus transportation and as two competitors we sat down," Cassidy said.

"We decided, let's have Coach Atlantic Maritime Bus buy his bus division and we would be the bus provider for the Maritime provinces."

Meeting with employees

The plan is to allow Ambassatours Gray Line to focus on cruise-ship shore excursions, water sightseeing business in the Maritimes, as well as the Gray Line in Niagara Falls, Cassidy said.

Cassidy said he met with staff in Halifax Thursday morning to address the sale and told the division's employees, "My biggest concern here today is that everyone goes home tonight feeling good about the sale." 

"We're passionate about the bus business. We believe in what we do. That's not going to change."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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