After 84 years, with four generations of family ownership, Robert Freeman is selling Freeman Bus Corporation to Leif Petterson, a consultant who has worked with the company for two decades.
Facing recent losses of crucial contracts, the company has declined since it reached its peak of employing 215 people in the mid-2000s, Freeman told WWNY-TV.
He said that while Clarence Henry Coach, Freeman’s charter bus company, was still doing well, he is ready for something new.
“It just wasn’t something that I felt that I was interested in continuing to pursue,” Freeman told WWNY-TV reporters.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, the corporation was sold for an undisclosed amount on February 1 and Freeman’s time leading the company came to an end on March 31.
Petterson is now the president and CEO of both Freeman Bus Corporation and his bus and motorcoach commercial database company, Norfe Systems. Though he has worked with many bus and motorcoach companies, this is his first time owning one, according to Watertown Times reporters.
“The opportunity’s right,” Petterson told WWNY-TV. “This is an important community business. It’s been here for 80 years. The plan is to stay here for a few more decades and do a good job for the community.”
He told the Watertown Times that he will continue using the existing business model at Freeman Bus Corporation while adding businesses to the facility through plans like expanding fleet management services.