CANBERRA, Australia - Employees of an Australian bus company have been given a 15 million Australian dollar ($16 million) share of the proceeds of the business sale as a thank-you for their loyalty, an executive and a newspaper said Wednesday.
The 1,800 staff at Melbourne-based Grenda Corp. have received bonuses averaging more than AU$8,300 ($8,800) and as much as AU$30,000 ($31,800) after the Grenda family sold the 66-year-old business for AU$400 million ($425 million), the Herald Sun newspaper reported.
Chief executive Geoff Grenda described the gratitude of staff- one of whom had been with the company for 52 years- as "overwhelming."
"We sat down and thought: 'how can we thank the people that have got us to where we're going to end up?' and it was a fairly easy decision for us," Grenda told Nine Network television, referring to his father Ken and brother Scott.
"We've had lots of loyal people over our 66-year journey and this was our way of rewarding the ones that are still with us," he added.
Geoff Grenda could not be immediately contacted for comment on Wednesday.
The staff will keep their jobs under the new owner, Ventura, the newspaper said.
A bus driver identified only as Heath told the newspaper that some staff had telephoned their banks assuming an error had been made after the bonuses were paid directly into their accounts.
"Good bosses are hard to find and Ken was a very good boss- one of a kind," Heath said.