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Downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Black Tie Transportation’s acquisition of Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation on Sept. 16 puts the companies into a new phase of expansion as they widen their client base in a growing state economy.
Black Tie Transportation, based in Greensboro, and Blue Diamond, a chauffeured limousine and sedan service owned by operator Carrie Peele based in Raleigh, each have about 25 years of experience in providing chauffeured transportation.
“This is starting to be very positive with all the offices working well together,” Black Tie owner Gray Hill told LCT a few months after the deal closed. “The growth in North Carolina matches my vision on how to grow the companies. These are great markets.”
Gray Hill, owner of Black Tie Transportation of Greensboro, N.C., which acquired Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation of Raleigh, N.C., on Sept. 16.
Black Tie specializes in airport, event and wedding transportation services along with guided tours to wineries, historical sites and cities. Before the acquisition, its fleet consisted of eight sedans, two SUVs, two vans, two limousines, four mini-buses and three motorcoaches, for a total of 21 vehicles. Black Tie’s business divides about 80% corporate and 20% retail.
Black Tie is now the holding company for both brands, which will be marketed and maintained separately. Hill also operates Black Tie Charters in Winston-Salem, which has 17 motorcoaches.
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, the purchase of Blue Diamond provides Black Tie with additional revenues in excess of $1 million and 12 small to mid-size luxury fleet vehicles. Altogether, the Black Tie transportation group brings in about $8 million in annual revenues and has about 100 employees, Hill told LCT.
The combined operations will run about 60 vehicles, including new and pending purchases, to mostly serve two major metro regions in North Carolina: The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle, and the Triad Region consisting of Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point. Black Tie also focuses business in the golfing resort town of Pinehurst and North Carolina’s largest coastal city, Wilmington.
“I’m keeping Blue Diamond name because it’s 25 years old,” Hill told LCT. “I’m celebrating 25 years, so we have a combined 50 years of experience.”