It’s now official. Everyone can own a piece of Fort Valley’s Blue Bird bus company as of Wednesday.
Blue Bird Corp. officially became a publicly traded company, according to a release. Its stock is trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol BLBD.
“It is the first independent school bus company to go public,” the release said.
The stock opened at $9.97 a share.
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The Telegraph reported in September that the school bus manufacturer, founded in 1927 by Albert Luce, would become a public company following the purchase of Blue Bird by Texas-based Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. in a deal worth $490 million.
The sale included $255 million in cash and stock, with Hennessy assuming about $235 million of Blue Bird’s debt.
The company will remain in Fort Valley and “it’s iconic name and leadership will not change,” the release said. “Blue Bird will continue to be a strong, stable employer in Middle Georgia, and the momentum that has been built by the seasoned leadership team and experienced workforce over the last five years is only going to continue.”
The company will have a new board of directors that will include six members of Blue Bird’s existing board.
Blue Bird is a leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation and about 180,000 buses in operation today.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.