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FIRSTGROUP PLC - Acquisition of remaining shareholding in SPS

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FIRSTGROUP PLC
ACQUISITION OF REMAINING SHAREHOLDING IN SOMERSET PASSENGER SOLUTIONS

FirstGroup plc (‘FirstGroup’) is pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, First South West Limited, has acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in its Somerset Passenger Solutions Ltd (‘SPS’) joint venture. The shares have been acquired from JJP Holdings (South West) Limited (‘JJPH’), giving FirstGroup control over the business going forward. The consideration, being funded from FirstGroup’s existing cash resources, is £8.4m, paid on completion, with potential deferred consideration of up to £1.6m if certain conditions are met.

SPS, which started in 2016 as a joint venture with 50/50 ownership between First South West Limited, and Somerset-based JJPH, operates the contract to provide transport for workers employed at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Bridgwater.

The company has grown in accordance with the increasing amount of work on site and now employs around 450 people running a 156 vehicle-strong operation, delivering shuttle services seven days a week to and from Hinkley Point C. The business has annual revenues of approximately £37.0m. The purchase of the remaining 50% of SPS shares forms part of the First Bus strategy to develop and grow its share of the business-to-business services market.

The acquisition constitutes a Class 2 transaction pursuant to the UK Listing Rules. For the purposes of the LR 10.4.1 R (Notification of class 2 transactions), as at 31 December 2020, the gross assets of SPS were £9.62m, and the profits attributable to it were £3.95m.

Contacts at FirstGroup:
Faisal Tabbah, Head of Investor Relations
Stuart Butchers, Group Head of Communications
corporate.comms@firstgroup.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7725 3354

Contacts at Brunswick PR:
Andrew Porter / Simone Selzer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Notes

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 549300DEJZCPWA4HKM93. Classification as per DTR 6 Annex 1R: 3.1.

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading private sector provider of public transport services. With £4.3 billion in revenue and around 30,000 employees, our UK divisions transported nearly 700,000 passengers a day in the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021. First Bus is the second largest regional bus operator in the UK, serving two-thirds of the UK’s 15 largest conurbations with a fleet of c.5,000 buses. First Rail is the UK’s largest rail operator, with many years of experience running long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper rail services. We operate a fleet of c.3,750 rail vehicles on four contracted operations (Avanti, GWR, SWR, TPE) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo, our new East Coast service launching later in 2021). We also operate Greyhound, the only national operator of scheduled intercity coaches in the US, with a unique network of 2,300 destinations and an iconic brand. We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier. Our businesses are at the heart of our communities and the essential services we provide are critical to delivering wider economic, social and environmental goals. We are formally committed to operating a zero-emission First Bus fleet by 2035 and to cease purchasing further diesel buses after 2022; and First Rail will help support the UK Government’s goal to remove all diesel-only trains from service by 2040. Visit our website at www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.

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