12 November 2012

Industry News: First continue to sell

First Group have announced the sale of another part of their ‘empire’….

First Chester, Volvo B7RLE
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 GBP4.5m. 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."

Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") is pleased to announce that Glenvale Transport Ltd, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Stagecoach, has agreed to acquire certain businesses and assets of subsidiaries of FirstGroup plc ("First") for a consideration of £4.5 million.

The businesses being acquired operate commercial and tendered bus services in Chester, Wrexham and Birkenhead, employing approximately 290 people. In the 12 months to 31 March 2012, the business had revenues of £11.9 million, EBITDA of around £1.7 million and an operating profit of around £0.6 million. The purchase includes around 110 vehicles, as well as the owned depot site at New Chester Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead; the owned depot facility at Liverpool Road, Chester; and a leased out-station facility at Rhosddu Industrial Estate, Rhosddu, Wrexham. The acquisition will allow Stagecoach to expand its successful bus operations in the North West where our Merseyside and South Lancashire business already operates more than 300 buses and employs more than 900 staff.


Stagecoach Group plc

Creative Commons licensed flickr photo shared by Dannys Bus Photos

1 comment:

  1. End of an era. I remember catching the little red and yellow Crosville breadvans as a kid in my hometown (Ellesmere Port). First had Chester and The Wirral sewn up for many a year, and was in the process of Barbie-ing up when me and my family moved down to Plymouth. Being in a Stagecoach monopoly area (Basingstoke), while the buses are much nicer it's absolutely shocking that there's no service at all after 9pm, so we'll see what happens up north.


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