West Country bus company up for sale

Sat, 08 Jun 2019 | BUSINESS SALE



FirstGroup plc, the multinational transport group, has announced its plans to sell its regional bus company, First West of England.

First West of England began its life as a horse drawn carriage service in 1875 and today has six depots providing bus services in Somerset, Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, West Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire.

The parent company has been under fire for delivering returns well below the sector average and maintaining high debt levels. Leading shareholders have for some time been making calls for the company to sell off assets.

First Group owns South Western Railway and Great Western Railway in the UK and also the Greyhound bus business in the United States, which it bought in 2007 for $3.6bn as part of Laidlaw.

Since then, the company’s shares have dived around 80 per cent.

Having said that, the company’s revenues are set for a 10 per cent gain this year to £7.1bn with profits are expected to be up nearly 3 per cent to £711 million.

But this is no thanks to the lacklustre performance of the UK businesses, particularly the train lines which have been beset with problems and are running on operating margins of just 2.9 per cent.

Compare that with First Student, the company’s student bus provider in the US (the biggest in the country), which has margins of 8.8 per cent.

The business up for sale, First West of England, has 1800 employees and serves around 70 million passenger journeys each year, growing at around 10 per cent annually.


Share this article



Latest Businesses for Sale

Products & Contracting Services
UK Wide

Project Lake carries out contracting services for soil and water erosion control and ecological restoration projects, also supplying some of its own products into these projects at a healthy profit margin. Project Lake has four distinct areas of rev...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £5,000,000

LEASEHOLD


Logistics Company
London, UK

The London based operation was set up in 2006 as a logistics solution for a large international and very well known supermarket chain. It is a 24 hour operation. The coverage at present is South East England. Large international logistics company for...

Asking Price: £3,000,000
Turnover: £6,000,000

Replacement Glazing Business
York, Yorkshire and the Humber, UK

Excellent profits generated from this well know replacement glazing business. The business has been established for over 30 years and has built up an enviable reputation for speed and quality of service and realistic pricing. The business is run by a...

Asking Price: Offers Invited
Turnover: £308,859

LEASEHOLD



View more businesses for sale

News Search

Latest News

 
19
 
Jun
 

Meat and poultry wholesaler goes under - business assets up for sale | ADMINISTRATION

Financial difficulties at a London-based meat and poultry di...

 
18
 
Jun
 

Administrators called in for West Midlands contractor | ADMINISTRATION

A contractor based in Aldridge, West Midlands has collapsed ...

 
17
 
Jun
 

Sheffield candle retailer enters administration | ADMINISTRATION

A shop retailing candle and gifts in Sheffield has collapsed...

Free guide: 10 Biggest Buyer Mistakes

Sign up to receive our acquisition alert emails to get your FREE guide

Email


Want access to the latest businesses for sale?

Business Sale Report is your complete solution to finding great acquisition opportunities.

Join today to receive:

  • Comprehensive range of businesses for sale
  • Make direct contact with business sellers or their intermediaries
  • Access to all UK administrations, liquidations and winding-up petitions
  • Daily email alerts for the latest businesses for sale & distressed notifications
  • Business Sale Report publication posted to you every month
  • Advertise your acquisition requirements on our "business wanted" section

All this and much more, including the latest M&A news and exclusive resources