FirstGroup to sell its US divisions to investment firm
FirstGroup has entered into discussions to sell the US divisions of its business to investment firm EQT Infrastructure.
John Dowie takes a look at the progress the bus sector has made since the launch of the National Bus Strategy
Transit operator FirstGroup has announced it has entered into an agreement for the sale of First Student and First Transit to EQT Infrastructure. The proposed sale would bring together two of North America’s market leaders in school and public transportation with a large investor in infrastructure.
“We are pleased to have agreed on the sale of First Student and First Transit in a transaction which recognizes their strategic value. Both are resilient, high-quality businesses with strong prospects for returning to normal levels of service following the pandemic,” said FirstGroup Chief Executive Matthew Gregory.
“Our colleagues at First Student and First Transit have built excellent relationships with their customers over many years, and we are proud of their commitment and expertise. I would like to pay tribute to everyone in these businesses and acknowledge the vital role they play in their communities, both now and for many years to come.”
“This news reinforces that the steps we’re taking to grow our business are working,” said First Student President Paul Osland. “While challenging, the pandemic has illustrated that we are able to maintain operations and generate stable returns even in the most difficult operating conditions. Our full focus continues to be on providing safe, reliable, industry-leading service in the communities where we operate.”
“This is a great business that has established a strong and profitable platform which positions us for sustainable growth over time. We will continue to invest in new opportunities and technologies that set us apart from our competitors,” said First Transit President Brad Thomas. “Through it all, our communities and customers will remain at the heart of everything we do.”
The sale is subject to both FirstGroup shareholder approval and regulatory approval, though it is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.