First Group to be split and sold off.

Vehicle and Fleet discussions for First Midland Red Buses Limited or its predecessor, Midland Red West Limited.
TimBrown
Posts: 886
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by TimBrown » 08:57 Wednesday 26th June 2019

TimBrown wrote:
14:24 Thursday 13th June 2019
I was trawling the web for any more information about First Bus sell-off and came across this link, it is just over a week old so many of you may already know about the meeting of shareholders on 25 June 2019. Perhaps the way forward will become clearer after this meeting?
https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/co ... 21495.html
This report appeared in the City and Finance section of today's Daily Mail.
Shareholders' meeting 25 June 2019 001.jpg
All the plans seem to be in the melting pot so we can expect more revelations on corporate strategy in the next few weeks. I have read elsewhere that First Group are the leading contender for the lucrative West Coast rail franchise; if they are successful it might change the attitude of main shareholder Coast to the current board and affect plans to dispose of the First Bus operation. Interesting times indeed!

bringstybeast
Posts: 40
Joined: 18:17 Saturday 9th July 2016

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by bringstybeast » 09:15 Wednesday 26th June 2019

I think there are some parallels between FirstGroup and Brexit(!) in so far as investors are now so fed up they just want an ending, and there really isn’t much confidence that the board will be able to deliver.

Yesterday, votes against the board ranged from 15% to 45%, including the three largest investors. It might not have been successful (and First’s press release suggesting an average of 20% against was VERY misleading) - but it’s more than large enough to show the board haven’t got the support, and the chairman’s position became untenable.

At the moment all the analysts are agreed that UK Rail is not a sector to be in with potentially unlimited pensions risk - so if the board stick with the West Coast bid and win it (as seems likely), I’ll expect the share price to nosedive again and it possibly be the final nail in the coffin. Their only profitable rail franchise at the moment is GWR - and that is because it’s been directly awarded to them without competition since 2014 following the 2012 West Coast award (to First - which was appealed against and upheld...). South West and Transpennine are not doing well and requiring write downs.

I think to an extent Stagecoach have gazumped First today with their trading update, and saying they won’t bid for further rail franchises on the current risk profile. This is what the analysts want to hear and will now be wondering even more why First don’t “get” that.

TimBrown
Posts: 886
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by TimBrown » 12:10 Wednesday 26th June 2019

Stagecoach and Virgin have been barred from making franchise bids on two counts.

a) Failure to run the East Coast franchise at a profit mainly because of over enthusiastic predictions of increase in passenger numbers which never materialised, leading to heavy losses and inability to pay £2 Billion in promised premiums - hence Government re-nationalisation.

b) Inability to accept pension responsibilities of franchisees they were already running.
I am only a retired bus driver, but have worked in other industries where employers do everything to wriggle out of the written pension contracts, so am suspicious of anything which smacks of employer pension contribution holidays and also the number of venture capital organisations which have been to permitted to takeover companies purely to rob out the pension funds to detriment of employees pensions - despite legislation it is still going on. This under a backdrop of the English State pension being 29th lowest in the world at 28% of National average wage.

Attached links from some time ago may be of interest;
https://inews.co.uk/news/richard-branso ... ch-payout/
https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... nsions-row

ANDREW
Posts: 449
Joined: 00:38 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Bromsgrove.

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by ANDREW » 07:38 Thursday 27th June 2019

News is filtering through the Rotala have acquired the Bolton operations of First Bus. :shock:

TimBrown
Posts: 886
Joined: 05:59 Monday 4th July 2016
Location: Worcester

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by TimBrown » 09:14 Thursday 27th June 2019

As reported elsewhere, Stagecoach will no longer be involved in any rail franchise by end of March 2020, the attached link gives further information about this company;

https://dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2019/0 ... e-bidding/

Perhaps Stagecoach will bid for some parts of the First Bus empire, subject to Monopolies Commission acceptance, to strengthen their 'mass transit' operations. However, a rumour is doing the rounds that National Express are showing interest in the Worcester bus operation, possibly other garages around the country?

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AdamH
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Joined: 12:17 Sunday 3rd July 2016
Location: Worcester
Contact:

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by AdamH » 11:56 Thursday 27th June 2019

ANDREW wrote:
07:38 Thursday 27th June 2019
News is filtering through the Rotala have acquired the Bolton operations of First Bus. :shock:
News is official... https://www.firstgroup.com/about-us/new ... rotala-plc

DD12
Posts: 1312
Joined: 19:49 Monday 4th July 2016

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by DD12 » 12:23 Thursday 27th June 2019

AdamH wrote:
11:56 Thursday 27th June 2019
ANDREW wrote:
07:38 Thursday 27th June 2019
News is filtering through the Rotala have acquired the Bolton operations of First Bus. :shock:
News is official... https://www.firstgroup.com/about-us/new ... rotala-plc
Let's hope that means they have used-up all their money / credit, and won't be interested in acquiring any other operations for a very long time !!

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AdamH
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Joined: 12:17 Sunday 3rd July 2016
Location: Worcester
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Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by AdamH » 13:31 Thursday 27th June 2019

DD12 wrote:
12:23 Thursday 27th June 2019
AdamH wrote:
11:56 Thursday 27th June 2019
News is official... https://www.firstgroup.com/about-us/new ... rotala-plc
Let's hope that means they have used-up all their money / credit, and won't be interested in acquiring any other operations for a very long time !!
Unlikely... https://www.route-one.net/articles/Oper ... _expansion

bmmoboy
Posts: 330
Joined: 20:02 Tuesday 5th July 2016

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by bmmoboy » 14:10 Thursday 27th June 2019

Oh ****

MattW
Posts: 838
Joined: 20:42 Sunday 3rd July 2016
Location: Cornwall

Re: First Group to be split and sold off.

Post by MattW » 20:55 Thursday 27th June 2019

“better businesses in terms of acquisition targets are in the deregulated market. Ideally, they would fit geographically with our existing business - in the Midlands - for example, and in markets that are not rural.”


Sounds like our home turf!

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