Blue Bird Corporation goes public

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FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Blue Bird Corporation, the Fort Valley company that makes and ships buses all around the globe, is going public. The business has been around for more than 85 years and you could soon own a portion of the shares.

The wheels on these buses aren’t going round and round just yet. They are a few of the more than 10,000 buses Blue Bird Corporation builds every year. And now you can own a piece of the business.

"Going forward as a public company, we have no owners other than the public,” Phil Horlock, President and CEO of Blue Bird said. “There’s no buying or selling anymore of Blue Bird anymore."

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Blue Bird’s owner, Cerberus Capital Management, is selling the company to Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corporation for $490 million. The acquisition company’s purchase includes cash and shares totaling to $255 million and $235 million in Blue Bird’s existing indebtedness.

“You can’t become a public company if you aren’t able to show sustained growth. and we’ve shown that,” Horlock said. “That’s what Hennessy sees in us and why they selected us."

Horlock says in the past four years, Blue Bird has increased its sales by 60%. He adds Hennessy picked the company because of its product and its people.



"The reason why Hennessy wants to invest in this company is because of who we are. They love this company, they love the people here, they love that we build the best school bus in the world."

Horlock calls this a big day for Blue Bird and the start to an even brighter future.

“Our destiny is in our own hands,” he said. “Think about it, we’ll be responsible to our shareholders, public shareholders, so our goal is to keep growing this business like we have been doing."

Blue Bird is working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to finalize the paperwork. It will become a NASDAQ listed public company in the next three to six months with the ticker BLBD.

Blue Bird has sold more than 550,000 buses since its formation in 1927 and nearly 200,000 buses are in operation today.