FirstGroup to sell Greyhound

Posted on May 30, 2019 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

The company said that the intercity bus line has limited synergies with its other, predominantly contract-based, North American businesses.
The company said that the intercity bus line has limited synergies with its other, predominantly contract-based, North American businesses.Greyhound

FirstGroup PLC, the UK-based owner of Greyhound, said it is selling the intercity bus line, as well as its First Bus UK business, to focus on its transit and school bus businesses.

In a statement, the company said to “deliver enhanced sustainable value” in its portfolio, it is deciding to separate itself from the two entities and instead focus on its First Transit and First Student brands, which “have the greatest potential to generate sustainable value and growth over time.”

The company added that it will also honor the terms of its existing portfolio of rail franchises in the UK, but will need to have an appropriate balance of potential risks and rewards for its shareholders as it moves ahead toward the future.

FirstGroup invested in Greyhound to implement airline-style yield management and real-time pricing, up-to-date booking and ticketing options, and improved customer communications channels over the past several years, and recently reduced Greyhound’s footprint in Western Canada.

The company said that the intercity bus line has limited synergies with its other, predominantly contract-based, North American businesses and that it believes value for its shareholders “can best be delivered by seeking new owners that will further support the continued development of this business,” adding that a formal sale process for Greyhound is underway.

“By executing the portfolio rationalization plans we are announcing today, our future emphasis will be on First Student and First Transit, our core contracting businesses in North America,” said FirstGroup’s CEO Matthew Gregory. “We see significant potential to generate long-term, sustainable value and growth from the solid platforms these businesses provide in the North American mobility services sector. We are intent on executing this strategy at pace, having full regard to the regulatory and stakeholder procedures and approvals that will be required.”

FirstGroup added that First Transit and First Student are increasingly overlapping in terms of the technologies and management skillsets required to thrive in the market opportunities in front of them, and that as it moves forward, it will ensure management and functional structures are “positioned to capitalize further on the platform we have built in the emerging North American mobility services market.”

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