Discussion:
First to leave UK?
(too old to reply)
Graeme Wall
2019-05-30 09:41:01 UTC
Permalink
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.
Recliner
2019-05-31 10:22:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graeme Wall
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
More in The Times:
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/first-group-bows-to-calls-for-break-up-xh0bgrvp7?shareToken=3b6420bf3764857ea95be737ea7d3cd9>

Specifically, however First restructures itself, it is likely to wind down
its UK rail operations. It would probably keep GWR and TPE till the end of
their franchises. However, the SWR operation is in real financial trouble,
and it looks like First (and MTR?) may write off their sureties, and pull
out, like Stagecoach did with VTEC.

That has interesting consequences for the West Coast Partnership franchise,
for which there were three short-listed bidders:

1. First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd, a joint venture between FirstGroup
(70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia (30%) — presumably now to
withdraw, unless Trenitalia takes it over 100%;

2. West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach (50%),
Virgin (30%) and SNCF (20%) — already excluded by the DfT, with a law suit
now underway;

3. MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture of Hong Kong’s MTR Corp
and Guangshen Railway Co — will MTR be excluded by the DfT if it hands back
the keys at SWR?

So, the DfT might, at best, have one 100% Chinese bidder left for the West
Coast franchise and the shiny new HS2 trains (assuming the new Tory leader
doesn't cancel it). There won't be any British involvement in the TOC.

Somehow, I think the government might find it a hard sell for the new HS2
line to be run entirely by the Chinese, after a non-competitve bid.
Graeme Wall
2019-05-31 11:27:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Recliner
Post by Graeme Wall
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/first-group-bows-to-calls-for-break-up-xh0bgrvp7?shareToken=3b6420bf3764857ea95be737ea7d3cd9>
Specifically, however First restructures itself, it is likely to wind down
its UK rail operations. It would probably keep GWR and TPE till the end of
their franchises. However, the SWR operation is in real financial trouble,
and it looks like First (and MTR?) may write off their sureties, and pull
out, like Stagecoach did with VTEC.
That has interesting consequences for the West Coast Partnership franchise,
1. First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd, a joint venture between FirstGroup
(70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia (30%) — presumably now to
withdraw, unless Trenitalia takes it over 100%;
2. West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach (50%),
Virgin (30%) and SNCF (20%) — already excluded by the DfT, with a law suit
now underway;
3. MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture of Hong Kong’s MTR Corp
and Guangshen Railway Co — will MTR be excluded by the DfT if it hands back
the keys at SWR?
So, the DfT might, at best, have one 100% Chinese bidder left for the West
Coast franchise and the shiny new HS2 trains (assuming the new Tory leader
doesn't cancel it). There won't be any British involvement in the TOC.
Somehow, I think the government might find it a hard sell for the new HS2
line to be run entirely by the Chinese, after a non-competitve bid.
Is this what they mean by "taking back control"?
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read.
Scott
2019-05-31 11:57:03 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 31 May 2019 12:27:52 +0100, Graeme Wall
Post by Graeme Wall
Post by Recliner
Post by Graeme Wall
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/first-group-bows-to-calls-for-break-up-xh0bgrvp7?shareToken=3b6420bf3764857ea95be737ea7d3cd9>
Specifically, however First restructures itself, it is likely to wind down
its UK rail operations. It would probably keep GWR and TPE till the end of
their franchises. However, the SWR operation is in real financial trouble,
and it looks like First (and MTR?) may write off their sureties, and pull
out, like Stagecoach did with VTEC.
That has interesting consequences for the West Coast Partnership franchise,
1. First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd, a joint venture between FirstGroup
(70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia (30%) — presumably now to
withdraw, unless Trenitalia takes it over 100%;
2. West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach (50%),
Virgin (30%) and SNCF (20%) — already excluded by the DfT, with a law suit
now underway;
3. MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture of Hong Kong’s MTR Corp
and Guangshen Railway Co — will MTR be excluded by the DfT if it hands back
the keys at SWR?
So, the DfT might, at best, have one 100% Chinese bidder left for the West
Coast franchise and the shiny new HS2 trains (assuming the new Tory leader
doesn't cancel it). There won't be any British involvement in the TOC.
Somehow, I think the government might find it a hard sell for the new HS2
line to be run entirely by the Chinese, after a non-competitve bid.
Is this what they mean by "taking back control"?
Sadly, I think it is. It eliminates the involvement of the EU.
Recliner
2019-06-09 06:16:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graeme Wall
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
More in
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/interview-firstgroups-matthew-gregory-lgwzm60c2?shareToken=af3295821a3c1733562dee77a9a7c2b1>


Extracts:

A rump of troublesome UK rail franchises will be run down over time —
unless Gregory can persuade the government to renegotiate their terms.



Born in the late 1980s as an Aberdeen bus company, it swelled to become a
vast public transport operator. Its $3.5bn 2007 top-of-the-market deal for
rival Laidlaw made it a serious player in America, propelling it into the
FTSE 100 for a brief spell. But that also left it as a collection of
disparate businesses, laden with debt and bound together with flimsy
strategic logic. A series of profit warnings, a botched bid for the West
Coast rail franchise and a £615m rescue rights issue all followed.

Recent history has been similarly dismal. Last year it wrote off £106m on
its TransPennine franchise after overbidding for the contract. Last month,
it set aside a further £102m on its South Western Railway contract. The
only bright spot in rail is its Great Western franchise, which it has held
since the Paddington to Swansea line was privatised in 1996.

Given its woes on the railways, why persist with its bid for the West Coast
Partnership, the route that will eventually include the High Speed 2 line?
Gregory squirms and says he wants to see the outcome of a rail review: “We
hope that will set us up with a franchising system everybody is happy
with.”
Recliner
2019-06-09 06:34:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Recliner
Post by Graeme Wall
Talk of spinning off First Bus and reviewing First Rail to concentrate
on North America.
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48456840?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk&link_location=live-reporting-story>
More in
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/interview-firstgroups-matthew-gregory-lgwzm60c2?shareToken=af3295821a3c1733562dee77a9a7c2b1>
A rump of troublesome UK rail franchises will be run down over time —
unless Gregory can persuade the government to renegotiate their terms.

Born in the late 1980s as an Aberdeen bus company, it swelled to become a
vast public transport operator. Its $3.5bn 2007 top-of-the-market deal for
rival Laidlaw made it a serious player in America, propelling it into the
FTSE 100 for a brief spell. But that also left it as a collection of
disparate businesses, laden with debt and bound together with flimsy
strategic logic. A series of profit warnings, a botched bid for the West
Coast rail franchise and a £615m rescue rights issue all followed.
Recent history has been similarly dismal. Last year it wrote off £106m on
its TransPennine franchise after overbidding for the contract. Last month,
it set aside a further £102m on its South Western Railway contract. The
only bright spot in rail is its Great Western franchise, which it has held
since the Paddington to Swansea line was privatised in 1996.
Given its woes on the railways, why persist with its bid for the West Coast
Partnership, the route that will eventually include the High Speed 2 line?
Gregory squirms and says he wants to see the outcome of a rail review: “We
hope that will set us up with a franchising system everybody is happy
with.”
And:
<https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rail-giant-firstgroup-may-sue-chris-grayling-r0bnl8l0v?shareToken=837227cf35158c5bfe5eaf151f73c0a5>
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