Firstgroup urged to break up business
FIRSTGROUP, the South Western Railway operator, is facing demands to fast-track the break-up of its global transport empire.
Leading investors have called on Wolfhart Hauser, the executive chairman, to take action.
Firstgroup has been without a chief executive for nearly six months. After rebuffing two approaches from private equity giant Apollo earlier this year, boss Tim O’toole quit after announcing full-year losses of £327m.
Best known in Britain for operating rail franchises and bus networks, the company’s prized assets are its North American businesses First Student and First Transit. The former is the largest school bus operator in the US.
Firstgroup is also grappling with its disastrous investment in the Grey- hound bus network.
A top-10 shareholder told The Sunday Telegraph: “We would like to see a strategy that realises value from the various parts of the business and the more quickly this can be realised the more value this gives.”
Firstgroup, which owns a 70pc stake in South Western, will unveil half-year results on Nov 13.