First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

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First Sells off Rail freight operations, could DB nip in?

Post  peanutbutter on Mon May 03, 2010 10:02 am

GB Railfreight attracts interest

The UK's second-largest rail freight operator, France's national railway and the Channel tunnel operator have all emerged as potential bidders for one of the UK's largest rail freight companies, according to people in the industry.

FirstGroup, the highly leveraged bus and rail operator, has put GB Railfreight, which it bought in 2003, up for sale after a wave of consolidation saw operators in Europe sold at high valuations.

FirstGroup initially said it wanted to keep GB Railfreight, which it bought as part of its acquisition of Aim-listed GB Railways, within the group.

All its other units are all focused on passenger transport. However, FirstGroup has been seeking to reduce its debt since it took over Laidlaw International, the US owner of the Greyhound bus brand, for $3.6bn in 2007 .

A series of rail freight operators has changed hands throughout Europe , often at prices seen as generous in the market.

France's state-owned SNCF bought the non-French freight business of Veolia Transport last year.

Groupe Eurotunnel, the Channel tunnel operator, bought Veolia's French operations .

Germany's Deutsche Bahn last year bought a 49 per cent stake in Italy's Ferrovie Nord Cargo and assumed 95 per cent ownership of Poland's PTK Holding.

According to one person familiar with the sale process, the UK's Freightliner looked best-placed to buy GB Railfreight. However, SNCF also remained a contender, in a move that would provide it with its first foothold in the UK market, according to the person.

Eurotunnel, which is seeking to build up its freight operations to boost freight levels through the tunnel, also appears to be interested.

Eurotunnel declined to confirm it was pursuing GB Railfreight specifically but said: "We would always be interested in any opportunities." Another person involved indicated that SNCF and Freightliner were contenders.

Freightliner, which started out as the container-carrying business of the nationalised British Rail, was bought by Bahrain's Arcapita for £340m ($519m) in 2008 . "It's complicated," one person said of the bidding process.

GB Railfreight has challenged the UK rail freight market's two biggest operators - German-owned DB Schenker and Freightliner - as the first new, independent rail freight operator set up after rail privatisation.
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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  Bristol LH on Mon May 03, 2010 10:15 am

First trying to stave off bankruptcy?

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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  Daisy Dart on Mon May 03, 2010 10:25 am

Bristol LH wrote:First trying to stave off bankruptcy?

Don't say that!!! Shocked
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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  Bristol LH on Mon May 03, 2010 11:33 am

Buying Laidlaw in Yank has just about bankrupted First. Proves Blockhead doesn't know what he is doing...

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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  WOLVERINE /// on Wed May 05, 2010 4:53 am

He should have stuck 2 fixing buses clown
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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  peanutbutter on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:30 am

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FIRSTGROUP PLC Disposal of rail freight business


FirstGroup (“The Group”) today announces the disposal of GB Railfreight Ltd (“GBRf”) to Europorte, a wholly owed subsidiary of Eurotunnel plc, for a gross consideration of £31m.

Commenting Sir Moir Lockhead, Chief Executive, said:

“The disposal of GBRf is consistent with our strategy of focusing on our core businesses in the UK and North America. The net proceeds of the disposal will be used to further reduce the Group’s net debt and are in addition to the Group’s stated target of net cash generation of £150m in the current financial year.”

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Re: First finnaly sells off Rail freight operations.

Post  WOLVERINE /// on Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:29 pm

If i win the Euromillions on Friday,would First Glasgow sell their Scottish side of things and how much for. Suspect
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