July 17, 2018 / 9:40 AM / a month ago

Britain's FirstGroup considering all options to boost value

(Reuters) - Rail and bus operator FirstGroup (FGP.L), which has rejected two approaches from private equity firms, is considering all options to boost its value, it said on Tuesday.

The company said overall trading performance in the latest quarter was in line with the plans it outlined in May. The company replaced its CEO in May after profit fell 5 percent last year and it was forced to cut its outlook for the year to the end of March 2019.

“The board is examining all appropriate means to mobilize the considerable value inherent in the group, and to deliver shareholder value,” Executive Chairman Wolfhart Hause said in a statement ahead of its AGM on Tuesday.

The company said in May it could sell its Greyhound bus division after the business had been hit by a poor performance in the United States.

Hauser said the company began the process of withdrawing from most of Greyhound Canada’s operations in the west of the country, adding that this would “address some of the long-standing issues in that part of the business”.

FirstGroup, which has not paid a dividend since 2013, has been targeted by Canadian activist investor West Face Capital.

Investors have had five years of disappointments since the company scrapped its dividend and raised 615 million pounds ($820 million) in a rights issue.

FirstGroup, which also runs yellow school buses in the United States, is expected to announce results for the six months ended September 30 on November 13.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan/Keith Weir

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