UK’s FirstGroup faces more pressure over EQT deal By Reuters

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(Reuters) -FirstGroup’s greatest investor on Monday once more requested shareholders of the London-listed transport operator to vote towards the corporate’s sale of two North American bus companies, whereas proxy advisory agency Glass Lewis joined the opposition.

The $4.6 billion sale to Swedish personal fairness agency EQT (NYSE:) Infrastructure has led to a shareholder rebel after Coast Capital, the British agency’s high investor with a 14% stake, opposed the deal on considerations that it undervalued the property.

“Unless the deal terms are materially improved upon, along with proposed use of proceeds, Coast Capital urges its fellow investors to vote against this destructive proposal,” the activist investor mentioned in a press release on Monday that laid down a rebuttal to the arguments offered by FirstGroup.

Glass Lewis additionally beneficial that traders vote towards the deal at a gathering set for Thursday.

“We tend to agree with Coast when it says any sale or carve out of these U.S. businesses would be better done after a return to normalcy in the U.S., in order to maximize value,” it mentioned in a press release.

250-listed FirstGroup didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The firm has mentioned the deal adopted “a comprehensive and competitive process in order to seek the best possible price.”

It plans to make use of the proceeds from the deal to pay down debt, contribute to its UK pension schemes and return cash to shareholders.

The sale additionally faces opposition from Schroders (LON:), FirstGroup’s second-largest shareholder with a 12% stake.

However, it has the backing of the corporate’s third-largest shareholder, Columbia Threadneedle Investments.


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