Author Topic: Firstgroup sells North Devon operation to Stagecoach  (Read 2145 times)


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Firstgroup sells North Devon operation to Stagecoach
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:54:29 AM »
From Wall Street Journal...

LONDON (Dow Jones)--FirstGroup PLC (FGP.LN), a transport operator in the U.K. and North America, Monday said it has signed an agreement to sell its North Devon bus operations to Stagecoach Devon Limited, a unit of Stagecoach Group PLC (SGC.LN), for a gross consideration of GBP2.8 million.


-Included within the sale will be 30 vehicles which operate on ten routes in North Devon, together with around 100 employees and depot facility in Barnstaple.

-Agreement is subject to clearance by the Office of Fair Trading.

-Shares of FirstGroup at 1015 GMT up 2 pence, or 0.7%, at GBP2.9.

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Re: Firstgroup sells North Devon operation to Stagecoach
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 02:35:30 PM »
Official news release...


Released : 12 Mar 2012
RNS Number : 1344Z
Stagecoach Group PLC
12 March 2012

12 March 2012



• Transaction subject to regulatory approval by Office of Fair Trading


Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") announced today (12 March 2012) that its subsidiary, Stagecoach Devon Limited, has signed an agreement with First Devon and Cornwall to acquire its business and assets in North Devon and Torridge for a gross consideration of £2.8m.


The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, which is being sought from the Office of Fair Trading.


The North Devon business, which has around 100 employees and a fleet of more than 30 buses, includes a small depot at Barnstaple.


It operates commercial and tendered bus services in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Braunton, Combe Martin, South Molton, Bideford and Great Torrington. The annual turnover of the business for the year ended 31 March 2011 was around £3million.


Stagecoach has run services from a depot in Barnstaple since 2006, currently operating 48 vehicles and employing 120 staff.


It is anticipated that the combined business will deliver a more sustainable combined bus network, allowing future investment in improved vehicles, more frequent services and good value fares.


The North Devon operations will become part of Stagecoach South West, headed by Managing Director Michelle Hargreaves.


Stagecoach South West employs around 900 people and operates more than 320 buses on around 120 routes across Devon and Somerset. In the past three years, Stagecoach South West has invested more than £13 million in new buses for the region.


Les Warneford, Managing Director, Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "Stagecoach has a long tradition of operating high quality services for people in the south-west of England and attracting people out of their cars and on to greener, smarter bus travel.


"We believe our acquisition of the North Devon business would deliver a more sustainable combined bus network for the long term. It would protect and improve services for the local community, help support future investment in better vehicles and offer good value fares for customers."




For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email


Stagecoach Group


·     Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The company employs 35,000 people and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services. Visit for more information

·     Stagecoach is one of UK's biggest bus and coach operators. Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's 8,000 buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The company's business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge.

·     Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast inter-city rail franchise.

·     Stagecoach also runs the Supertram network in Sheffield.

·     In North America, Stagecoach operates around 2,700 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Budget coach service links more than 70 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter and transit services, as well as tours, charters, sightseeing tours and a small number of school bus services.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
Suzy Scott
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Re: Firstgroup sells North Devon operation to Stagecoach
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 05:05:27 PM »
You can bet "sir" Moir not liking this development.  ;D

Notice also that the subsidary is Stagecoach Devon Ltd, where in other areas the old company Ltd names have returned. - Ribble, Southdown. Hampshire Bus, Cumberland....

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Re: Firstgroup sells North Devon operation to Stagecoach
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 05:13:06 PM »
Not too surprising, seeing as First have wound down their North Devon operations in recent years. I wonder which operation/depot will be the next to be hived off.

You can bet "sir" Moir not liking this development.  ;D
I don't understand why under 'Sir' Moir Blockhead control, First cut and shrank routes/depots, rather than sell off operations as a whole? Maybe to keep First as the biggest bus operator in the country?
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