, the recently launched online budget bus company owned by Scottish transport entrepreneur Brian Souter, will acquire rival Naked Bus for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will add South Island routes to's service and expand Souter's transport operations across the country, the Wellington-based bus service said. launched last October offering long-distance, low-cost bus services on tourist routes through the North Island. is part of the Scottish transport entrepreneur's Souter Holdings New Zealand transport portfolio, which includes Auckland urban bus companies Howick and Eastern Buses, the Wellington-based bus service Mana Coach Services and Waiheke Bus Company, as well as the Auckland Fullers Group ferries and the 360 Discovery cruises.


The combined entities will transport more than 13 million customers a year and employ 670 people, said.

At the launch of Souter said his company had invested $100 million in its New Zealand bus and ferry services over the past seven years.

That included a $5 million investment in the six-bus fleet for

In February, Souter Investments invested $12 million in 15 new double-decker buses for Auckland, to double its load on the city's most congested routes.