U-turn over Manchester bus contract

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THE privatisation of Manchester's municipal bus services was still in turmoil yesterday, after the successful bidder for one of the two companies being sold was removed in favour of a management and employee buyout, writes John Murray.

The MEBO had failed in an earlier attempt to win the North Manchester company in a sealed bid contest. But the local passenger transport executive removed its preferred bidder, British Bus, in favour of the MEBO at a meeting on Tuesday night.

At the same meeting, the executive confirmed that another employee buyout, for the South Manchester company, remained on course. Stagecoach, Britain's largest quoted bus company, which had failed in the sealed bid battle, warned that it might seek a judicial review of the decision.