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Student Transportation Inc. Closes Deal To Acquire California Assets

Stocks in this article: STB

WALL, N.J., Feb. 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Student Transportation Inc. (STI) (TSX:STB) (Nasdaq:STB) and its subsidiary Student Transportation of America (STA) announced it has closed the acquisition of assets from two California operations of Atlantic Express. STI's subsidiary SchoolWheels Direct has been managing the operations of the fleet for the past month.

SchoolWheels Direct, a logistics and management services company, was hired after approval by the debtors and bankruptcy court to ensure customers and employees that there would be a smooth transition until such time STA and the various parties involved with Atlantic Express could complete an Asset Purchase Agreement.

"We are pleased to be able to close the transaction sooner than we anticipated," said STI Regional Vice President Don Kissell. "We were able to hit the ground running just after the holidays to be ready when the students went back to school. The cooperation we received from various state and local officials to ensure thousands of children had safe transportation was just remarkable. The SchoolWheels Direct management team was able to provide continuity of service which was extremely important to the local customers, the court and both of the companies."

STA management has already met with the staff and drivers, as well as every customer to answer questions and identify the goals to accomplish moving forward. The company felt it was important to address any concerns involved with such a quick turnaround, but is confident that it can begin improving operations and implementing programs right away. "The entire process and customer response has gone so well that we were able to move up the closing of the transaction," added Kissell. "We have a tremendous reputation in the State and that certainly helped."

STI previously announced after the completion of a negotiated Asset Purchase Agreement it would acquire 425 vehicles and assume over $26 million in annualized contracted revenues. The transaction will add substantially to the regional density of the company's existing operations in California. The company noted it has also recently renewed one of its largest existing contracts with the Los Angeles Unified School District for an additional five years.

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