Jeff Canady and wife Laura, a board director of the National Limousine Association, co-owners of CLT Express Livery, just bought a party bus company and their first motorcoach as they grow their company throughout a region that spans the two Carolinas.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- CLT Express Chauffeured Transportation closed a deal earlier this month to buy Carolina’s Party Ride in Charlotte, making its third limo company purchase since late 2010.
Owned by Jeff and Laura Canady, CLT Express bough Aiken Limousine in 2010 and changed the name to SC Express to match the CLT Express brand, based in Charlotte. In 2013, CLT Express purchased Charlotte Limousine which helped grow its revenue and client list. Jeff Canady says the company is looking toward more regional acquisitions in 2015.
"In order to grow, you have to gobble up mom-and-pop companies that have decent contracts that make it viable but aren’t willing to work the necessary 24/7 grindstone you need to be successful in this type of business," Jeff Canady told LCT.
CLT Express has grown from 25 vehicles before the acqusitions to 45 vehicles now. The company bought a 44-passenger mid-coach bus this year and two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans last year, and will convert its sedan fleet from Lincoln Town Cars to Cadillac XTS livery sedans starting this coming fall. Its fleet also includes Cadillac Escalade SUVs, a Hummer stretch and traditional sedan stretch limousines.
As part of its expansion, CLT Express also bought its first motorcoach bus, a used 57-passenger Van Hool, enabling the company to provide critically needed motorcoach service for clients on weekends. "It’s impossible to get in touch with a coach company on weekends for trip changes and we have too many complaints about the cleanliness and driver issues to continue to farm out to local companies," Canady said. "So we decided to control that part of the business by purchasing one with another to follow."
The motorcoach runs will be regional instead of over-the-road so CLT Express can cater to local corporate clients.
-- Maritn Romjue, LCT editor
LCT background article: Southern Strategy: Deal Allows Operator To Straddle Carolinas