Stagecoach to sell US coach arm as it swerves into the red
STAGECOACH insists it will not sell its troubled US coach arm “at any cost” despite swinging sharply into the red following a hefty writedown on operations across the Atlantic.
The bus and rail giant announced yesterday that it had opened sale talks with a number of parties for all or part of its US network.
The announcement came as the company posted a £22.6m half-year pre-tax loss, driven by a painful £85.4m writedown of its US investment.
Stagecoach also shouldered a £24.2m cost to equalise minimum pension benefits between men and women.
Shares rose around 15pc and the company’s valuation briefly broke through the £1bn barrier as profit margins on Stagecoach’s UK rail arm beat City expectations.
Putting US coach operations on the market had been widely expected.
The sale of the US coach arm threatens to put Stagecoach on a collision course with rival FirstGroup, which is under pressure from investors to sell its own US business.