Author Topic: First London Sold????  (Read 6459 times)

Offline Alex Hazell.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 553
First London Sold????
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:05:05 PM »
I have been informed that First London has been sold off. Westbourne Park and one other London depot have believed to have been sold to Metroline. Lea Interchange has, I believe been sold to an Australian Investment Bank, while Dagenham I believe is to close and be sold on.

Can anyone else put any light on this information??
Bus/Coach of the Week: Roadrunner Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer SLF P301AYJ.

Offline SURREYMAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 34
  • Posts: 271
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 11:11:03 PM »
I have picked up a similar rumour on a Scottish bus web site, your info has more specific detail, who knows, we shall have to wait and see!

Offline Alex Hazell.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 553
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 11:13:46 PM »
Just had a message from a mate who used to work at First, that a deal has been done as per above
Bus/Coach of the Week: Roadrunner Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer SLF P301AYJ.

Offline Steves

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 809
  • -Receive: 184
  • Posts: 707
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 08:31:10 AM »
I have been informed that First London has been sold off. Westbourne Park and one other London depot have believed to have been sold to Metroline. Lea Interchange has, I believe been sold to an Australian Investment Bank,

You would think the Australians would stay clear of London Buses after their dealings with Stagecoach.  Also, Lea interchange would be fairly small for a standalone operation.

Offline Alex Hazell.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 553
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 09:34:09 AM »
I did think, that maybe it was the same Australian Investment Bank that brought Stagecoach, but I have been told that it is another one, so who knows that happens.
Bus/Coach of the Week: Roadrunner Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer SLF P301AYJ.

Offline SURREYMAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 34
  • Posts: 271
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 09:35:26 AM »
As part of FirstGroup's stated strategy to reposition its UK Bus division to focus on those areas that offer the greatest potential for growth, it has today announced the sale of eight of its London bus depots.

From the First web site today; -

"The bus depots at Alperton, Greenford, Hayes, Uxbridge and Willesden Junction, along with 494 vehicles and approximately 1,700 employees, will transfer to Metroline on completion of the sale for a gross consideration of £57.5m. Metroline is an existing London bus operator and wholly-owned subsidiary of Comfort DelGro Corporation Limited, a Singapore-incorporated transportation company.


The bus depots at Atlas Road, Lea Interchange and Westbourne Park, along with approximately 400 vehicles and 1,500 employees, will transfer to Transit Systems Group, an Australian transport operator, on completion of the sale for a gross consideration of £21.3m.


Both disposals are subject to the necessary regulatory approvals including contractual obligations with Transport for London".

Dagenham is not mentioned, will it be closed or sold?

Offline Suzy Scott

  • Suzy, Nuisance of the Coach Park
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 69
  • -Receive: 584
  • Posts: 6412
    • ScotBus
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 10:47:26 AM »
Embargoed until 7:00am on Tuesday 9 April 2013
FIRSTGROUP PLC
PRE-CLOSE TRADING UPDATE
FirstGroup plc (“the Group”) reports the following update on trading for its financial year ended 31 March
2013 (“the year” or “the period”), ahead of its preliminary results due to be announced on 22 May 2013.
Summary
 Overall trading in line with management’s expectations
 Sale of eight UK Bus depots in London for a combined consideration of approximately £80m after the
period
 Recovery programmes in First Student and UK Bus on track
 First Transit achieved strong contract performance and sale of Support Services, consistent with
strategy to focus on core businesses
 Greyhound Express continues to expand, offsetting the impact of the weaker economy
 Continued strong passenger volume and revenue growth in UK Rail
Overview
Overall trading for the Group during the period is in line with management’s expectations. Despite the
challenging economic conditions that prevail, we continue to strengthen the business for the future. As
previously stated the Board held the interim dividend at last year's level, following the uncertainty caused by
the DfT's decision to delay rail re-franchising, and will consider the full year dividend in May 2013.
First Student
Trading, excluding the previously reported one-off effect of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, has developed
in line with our expectations although we saw further periods of severe weather disruption in early 2013.
US Dollar revenues are expected to be reduced by 2.9% on a like-for-like basis, with our expectations for
underlying margin performance for the year broadly unchanged. This year’s bidding season is on plan with a
number of new contract wins. As we work through our plans to reform the operating model we continue to
implement a series of actions, such as the recent roll out of a comprehensive operating guide which is
achieving consistency and greater efficiency across our 600 locations.
First Transit
We continue to see good operating results in our First Transit division, particularly from our core operations.
US Dollar revenues for the division are expected to grow by 7.1% on a like-for-like basis for the ongoing
business and we anticipate that full-year margins will remain in line with our expectations. First Transit has
established a market leading position with unrivalled expertise across many areas. It is this reputation and
credibility that is key to retaining and winning contracts of significant scale including a US$48m Fixed Route
contract in Phoenix, Arizona; a US$22m Paratransit contract in Washington DC and a US$22m Paratransit
contract in Maryland, all of which we were awarded during the period. On 8 March we completed the sale of
First Support Services, our military base facility management business, to Parsons Government Services for a
gross consideration of US$10.2m. As previously indicated, we are proactively working through historic legal
cases and have now settled meal and break claims, dating back to 2003, for approximately £8m.
Greyhound
Greyhound is seeing some effects from continuing softness in the US economy. Like-for-like revenue during
the period is expected to increase by 1.1%. As a result of actions we have taken to create a more flexible
and agile operating model, we have been able to reduce the impact of a weak economic backdrop and lower
consumer confidence, with anticipated operating margin performance in line with our expectations. During
the period we expanded our popular Greyhound Express product to new markets in British Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Express service complements our national network, the only
one of its kind, which is uniquely placed to support the launch of new routes by providing sustainable
passenger flows.
UK Bus
We are working through our comprehensive plan to recover performance and equip our UK Bus business to
achieve sustainable revenue and patronage growth, and are seeing early positive signs in some of our
markets. During the period we achieved steady growth with like-for-like passenger revenue expected to
increase by 2.4%. As previously stated, we expect the full year operating margin to be approximately 8%.
In line with our strategy to pursue selected business and asset disposals, today we are pleased to announce
the sale of five of our London depots to Metroline, an existing London bus operator, and three of our London
depots to Transit Systems Group, an Australian transport company, for a combined consideration of
approximately £80m. Both disposals are subject to the necessary regulatory approvals including contractual
obligations with Transport for London.
UK Rail
During the period we continued to benefit from strong passenger volume growth across all of our franchises
with like-for-like revenue expected to increase by 7.4%. On 31 January the Department for Transport (DfT)
announced its intention to exercise the 28-week extension clauses in the existing contracts of our First
Capital Connect and First Great Western franchises. Further extensions of six months for First Capital
Connect and 33 months for First Great Western, as well as ten months for First TransPennine Express, were
announced on 26 March. We are currently in negotiation with the DfT in respect of the terms for these
extensions. As the UK’s largest and most experienced rail operator we remain committed to maintaining a
leading position in the market. We look forward to reviewing the details of the new franchise competitions,
and submitting further high quality bids.
Outlook
Commenting, Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive said:
“Trading during the period is in line with our expectations. Although there remains significant work still to
be done, we are satisfied with the progress made so far. While remaining cautious in respect of continued
challenging economic conditions, we are confident the actions we are taking will position the business to
generate sustainable growth and improved returns.
“Public transport is a key enabler of economic growth and the private sector is best placed to deliver high
quality and attractive services that represent value for passengers and taxpayers and provide an economic
return for shareholders. With leading positions across all of our markets, we are well placed to leverage our
scale whilst developing our global expertise and resource and bringing them to bear at the local level for the
benefit of our customers and our stakeholders.”

Offline grahamk48

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 4
  • -Receive: 9
  • Posts: 64
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 01:16:54 PM »
Have seen elsewhere that Dagenham and Berkshire depots are to remain in First ownership. I presume that Dagenham will be tagged on to the First Essex operation although they have lost about half the work from there to Stagecoach. in recent tendering rounds

Offline Suzy Scott

  • Suzy, Nuisance of the Coach Park
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 69
  • -Receive: 584
  • Posts: 6412
    • ScotBus
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 01:02:23 PM »
the last bit from lots.org.uk today...

On 28th May First announced that from 22nd June eleven routes at its Dagenham Depot would be transferred to Go-Ahead and thence operated from their Rainham Depot.  Routes affected are 193, 368, 498 plus school routes 608, 646, 648, 652, 656, 667, 679 and 686.   Relevant single-deck buses will transfer from First to Go-Ahead but Go-Ahead would use their own buses on the doubke-deck contracts.   First retain four routes (165, 179, 252 and 365) at Dagenham although these will transfer to Stagecoach (who have their own new buses on order) in September and October after which Dagenham depot is expected to close.

Offline SURREYMAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 34
  • Posts: 271
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 05:17:01 PM »
Wonderful news, so from October, First will have made a 100% exit from London (GreenLine routes and Rail excepted).
Most people will have noted that 'Buses' magazine hints at another First Bus operation possibly being sold soon.

Offline AndrewHA

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 72
  • -Receive: 25
  • Posts: 623
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 05:32:23 PM »
What will happen I wonder to the one Non TfL route they operate from Dagenham . I think it is an Essex County contracted route to Lakeside , the 265 .
Andrew HA.

Offline Suzy Scott

  • Suzy, Nuisance of the Coach Park
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 69
  • -Receive: 584
  • Posts: 6412
    • ScotBus
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 06:28:56 PM »
What will happen I wonder to the one Non TfL route they operate from Dagenham . I think it is an Essex County contracted route to Lakeside , the 265 .

Commercial between 498 school runs

Offline AndrewHA

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 72
  • -Receive: 25
  • Posts: 623
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 07:11:52 PM »
Thanks , Suzy , I thought it was an ECC contracted route .
Andrew HA.

Offline alex397

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 84
  • -Receive: 31
  • Posts: 1285
    • My Flickr Page!
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 09:08:21 PM »
I've been told they also operate Thurrock school/college contracts from DM, so will be interesting what will happen to those as well.

Offline Danny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 3
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 265
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2013, 07:52:35 AM »
Wonderful news, so from October, First will have made a 100% exit from London (GreenLine routes and Rail excepted).
Most people will have noted that 'Buses' magazine hints at another First Bus operation possibly being sold soon.

Is it really that brilliant? Were First London actually bad compared to Metroline and parts of Go-Ahead London?

Offline SURREYMAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 34
  • Posts: 271
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »
Is it really that brilliant? Were First London actually bad compared to Metroline and parts of Go-Ahead London?
In fairness, compared to their provincial operations, First London seemed a pretty well run operation (they even painted their buses a decent colour!), I openly admit that I detest First bus, so the reason for my rejoicing was because their operation/physical presence in the UK is geographically shrinking.
Incidentally, their rail operations seem, as far as I can tell, to be fairly well run too.

Offline AndrewHA

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 72
  • -Receive: 25
  • Posts: 623
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2013, 03:12:11 PM »
Mmm

Before I retired I was employed by one of their Rail Division T O C's . So I do not entirely agree with that last comment about being well run !
Andrew HA.

Offline alex397

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 84
  • -Receive: 31
  • Posts: 1285
    • My Flickr Page!
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2013, 06:12:16 PM »
Is it really that brilliant? Were First London actually bad compared to Metroline and parts of Go-Ahead London?

I didn't think First London were bad really. Mostly all London operating companies seem well run, most likely due to the strict rules from TfL. The DM drivers seemed mostly good drivers, so its a shame they've got to be messed about now. Also, the part-timers who did the rail replacement work will no longer get any work, as AFAIK Go-Ahead arn't taking over that bit.

Offline Steves

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 809
  • -Receive: 184
  • Posts: 707
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2013, 11:19:33 PM »
The DM drivers seemed mostly good drivers, so its a shame they've got to be messed about now. Also, the part-timers who did the rail replacement work will no longer get any work, as AFAIK Go-Ahead arn't taking over that bit.
Go-Ahead certainly do rail replacment work for their own rail companies.  DM is probably not a good location for First rail replacement.  I think FRS lost Overground to DB (Arriva) in house which probably means that the buses are now provided by Arriva. If they do any work for c2c, the vehicles usually come from Hadleigh but it only happens when Ensign and Stephensons can't provide enough.  I don't know who works for Greater Anglia now as it changed when Stephensons took over the management of the contract.  However, the work will be offered to Abellio first so how much is left, I don't know. Before Stephensons took over, the only First London vehicles that came out seemed to be on the West Anglia line and came from Northumberland Park.  There would be work for through FRS for First Capital Connect but that is again North rather than East London.

Offline Barry

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 166
  • -Receive: 232
  • Posts: 1433
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 12:27:12 AM »
Normally I'd raise a cheer for a first withdrawal, but in London I can't say I've ever even noticed who operates the routes I use.  You tend to notice you're in a first area when a 25 year old banger turns up, or when a new bus that's wrecked because it's never been properly cleaned inside turns up.  Thankfully that doesn't apply to anyone in London!

Offline SURREYMAN

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 34
  • Posts: 271
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2013, 06:47:01 AM »
The only downside to the sale is that it will allow First to pay down some debt.
Buses mag was hinting that another 'provincial' sale may be happening soon.
First are cutting services in Bridgewater & WSM.

Offline TCD813

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 3027
  • -Receive: 277
  • Posts: 2503
  • Regards, Richard.
    • All 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c
Re: First London Sold????
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2013, 07:08:12 PM »
FirstGroup's finances are a bit dicey...

FirstGroup shares plunge after rights issue and sharp fall in profits

Quote from: Angela Monaghan, The Guardian, Monday 20 May 2013
Train and bus operator turns to shareholders for £615m and scraps final dividend in effort to reduce debt
FirstGroup, the train and bus operator, has turned to shareholders for £615m, scrapped a final dividend and parted company with its chairman in an effort to reduce its debts and avoid a credit rating downgrade.
The shares fell 30% after the cash call was announced alongside a sharp fall in full-year profits at the company which employs 120,000 people.
Joe Spooner, an analyst at Jefferies, said: "On first read, FirstGroup's announced £615m rights issue looks due to defensive rather than positive reasons. We believe it should help to shore up the group's investment grade and help avoid the ramifications of potential downgrade.
"The disappointment for us is that nothing materially new appears to be being articulated about the prospects or plans for the group's businesses."
Pre-tax profit at FirstGroup plunged 87% to £37m in the year to the end of March, while revenue rose 3.3% to just under £7bn. The group said a weak economic backdrop in the UK and North America continued to weigh down on its passenger revenue business, as did the impact of reduced UK government subsidies for the bus industry.
It is not paying a final dividend, after paying 16.05p a share a year earlier, nor will it pay out an interim dividend in the current financial year ending March 2014. The shares closed at 155.6p.
Payments would resume with a final dividend in the current financial year, if results were in line with expectations, the company said.

Click for full story.
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.