First group sells to US businesses for £3.3bn

British bus company FirstGroup plc is selling its American divisions First Student and First Transit to EQT Infrastructure for around £3.3 billion.

It says the sale fully recognises the long-term, strategic value of First Student and First Transit, and the money raised will be used in “addressing longstanding liabilities, ensuring the Group has sufficient means for the future development of its retained businesses, and enabling a return of value to shareholders”.

It says around £1,345 million will be used to reduce debts, including some to the British Government and to then derisk other liabilities, including for North American legacy pensions and self-insurance.

Other money will go towards its pension scheme and to ensure adequate financial resources are
available, while there will be a return of value to shareholders too.

The sale is subject to shareholder approval.

(Picture – First Group)


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