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Dundee bus takeover brings windfall for drivers

Around 500 employees of the Dundee-based Taybus are each in line for a windfall of at least pounds 20,000 after the planned sale to National Express, the airports to rail group which recently lost its chief executive, writes Magnus Grimond.

The pounds 12.5m offer by National's West Midlands Travel offshoot for what is said to be Scotland's last privately owned bus group beat off intense competition from rival bus operators, including Stagecoach, a near neighbour in Perth, FirstBus, British Bus and Strathtay, part of Yorkshire Traction.

The employees each paid pounds 500 for one share when the business was bought out from the local authority in 1991, with all sharing equally whether they were a director or a driver. The windfall, which could increase by another pounds 2,000 or so if certain tax complications relating to an employee trust are cleared up, compares with typical annual pay of around pounds 14,600 a year.

Jack Henry, Taybus chief executive, said news of the deal, first announced in outline last December, had been well received by the workforce.