Greyhound, Laidlaw To Merge

Greyhound Lines Inc., the last nationwide provider of intercity bus transportation in the United States, is being acquired by the Canadian owner of Greyhound Lines of Canada.

Under the $650 million deal announced Monday, Laidlaw Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, has agreed to pay a combination of cash and stock for Greyhound as well as assume its debt.

The Greyhound board is recommending that stockholders adopt the agreement. The merger is subject to regulatory approval as well.

Greyhound's headquarters will remain in Dallas and no immediate operational or personnel changes are anticipated. Greyhound employs 12,500 people nationally.

If the agreement is approved by stockholders, all of Laidlaw's coach operations including the Canadian company will report to Craig Lentzsch, president and chief executive of Dallas-based Greyhound Lines.

"When the Greyhound companies of Canada and the U.S. are united and combined with our initiatives in Mexico, Greyhound Lines will be able to create a true North American ground transportation network," Lentzsch said.

Greyhound has approximately 60 million common shares and 2.4 million preferred shares that can be converted into 12.3 million common shares.

The plan calls for Greyhound stockholders to receive $6.50 per common share. Laidlaw could pay up to $4 of the price in stock.

Greyhound is the only nationwide provider of intercity bus transportation in the U.S., serving more than 2,600 destinations with 18,000 daily departures. It also provides package express service, charter service and food services at certain terminals.

"Laidlaw has expressed its confidence in Greyhound's business strategy, its management team, and the way we have rebuilt the company over the past four years," Lentzsch said.