First Group Disposal

DividendMax Ltd.

First Group Disposal

As part of the Group's stated strategy to reposition its UK Bus division to focus on those areas that offer the greatest potential for growth, we are pleased to announce the sale of our Birkenhead and Chester bus businesses to Stagecoach Group plc for a consideration of £4.5m. On completion of the sale our Birkenhead and Chester bus depots as well as a leased outstation in Wrexham and around 110 vehicles and approximately 290 employees will transfer to Stagecoach.

Commenting Giles Fearnley, First's Managing Director, UK Bus said:

"Birkenhead and Chester are businesses where we have previously seen lower than average margins and they are not core to our operations. They fit better with Stagecoach's existing portfolio in the area and also allow us to realise efficiencies in support costs. The sale of these operations marks further progress in disposing of selected assets and businesses as we review the scope and scale of our portfolio and reposition it for the longer term. We are progressing our detailed programme to recover performance and equip our UK Bus business to achieve sustainable revenue and patronage growth."

Companies mentioned