FirstGroup: Improvement, Shares and Survival......

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by overthewater, 23 May 2012.

  1. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

    Messages:
    5,165
    Joined:
    16 Apr 2012
    With the on going loses at Manchester, I doubt anyone could now say its part of the Crown Jewels. If TrentBarton get the depots you just watch the knife come out and TM travel picking up more stuff.
     
  2. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    To be fair, they should have head hunted someone & given them free rein to turnaround First Manchester as well, long before now.

    Manchester & FSY are the two big loss makers within UK Bus, naturally removing their losses & also turnover contribution from UK Bus totals will improve the overall divisions profit margins.

    I don't think they should entertain selling any crown jewels that earn that the money, but taking a hit on the loss makers may be the way to go to turn things around quicker.

    Those kind of valuations are from years ago i.e. £1 takeover value for every £1 of turnover, even the most profitable bus companies don't earn anywhere near the margins that they used too, then there's pension deficits to consider. Also, clean air zones are driving requirements for large scale investment in upgrading buses to Euro 6 or having to buy new.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2019
  3. Rod Harrison

    Rod Harrison Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    15 Oct 2017
    I know which routes are operated by Bolton as they were listed by the MEN when strike action was ongoing. However, which routes are operated by Queens Road and Oldham as that may give a guide as to which depot would be bought by which operator.
     
  4. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    As Robert said, he was referring to a specific rumoured sale. Now, you're saying it's not a fire sale - the definition in the business dictionary is: "Liquidation of a firm's assets at prices far below their fair market value (FMV) to achieve a quick sale, either to avoid a financial disaster or to satisfy the debts of an insolvent or bankrupt firm." Flogging off First GM at a fraction of their balance sheet value and also below their FMV - sounds like a fire sale?? :D

    Which depots are you talking about?

    FSY may have been one of the bigger loss makers though I seem to recall that they had reduced the losses by half despite incurring a large chunk of restructuring costs against them plus some residual costs associated with the Rotherham depot that I think has now been disposed of. Also seem to recall that turnover was up so FSY might not be one to dispose of?

    However, I do agree with you that they really do need to up their game and some of the best things that we're seeing with West of England, South West, Midlands, Eastern Counties and Berkshire just haven't been done at all in GM or SY. Cocking around with painting a bus in Mainline colours may cheer up the gricers but they could have done with doing something similar with the entire fleet!

    I'd imagine the valuation would have been changed when they sold Wigan off; GAAP would have meant that would need to happen. Of course, further downgrading of the valuation would have needed to be reflected in recording additional losses. As you say, with an ageing fleet, the threat of franchising and the need to invest elsewhere, you can understand why it's happening though I confess, it is something I never envisaged.

    FirstGreatEastern has mentioned another done deal. I won't speculate but there is another OpCo (based in the county of my late father's family) that has been existing in a similar vein to First Greater Manchester.
     
  5. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    If you're talking about 47549/50, they were from Bath, with 32669/73 going the other way
     
  6. SC43090

    SC43090 Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    7 Sep 2018

    First South Yorkshire have as far as i am aware disposed of Rotherham Road Garage.......

    SC 43090
     
  7. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    15 Jul 2009
    Leicester is a good buy if First decide to sell off. Can’t be Arriva and Centrebus are not frontrunners. I suspect that leaves Stagecoach who are big enough to take over and have a good East Midlands presence, in the South of the region.However if it’s just a case of selling off the smaller fish, then Leicester will be part of a rejuvenated First. Leicester has a very good bus network.
     
  8. overthewater

    overthewater Established Member

    Messages:
    5,165
    Joined:
    16 Apr 2012
    First doesn't owned 100% of Leicester... Wellglade group owns around 5%?
     
  9. richw

    richw Established Member

    Messages:
    7,761
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2010
    Location:
    Liskeard
    £5m annual losses surely doesn’t have much value, so what is the land and any other assets included worth?
     
  10. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

    Messages:
    4,988
    Joined:
    22 Sep 2013

    I guess that First would be reluctant to get rid of Leicester, it's one of their more profitable operations.
     
  11. 317 forever

    317 forever Member

    Messages:
    877
    Joined:
    21 Aug 2010
    Location:
    North West
    Ipswich has often seemed a bit out on a limb. As far as I can tell, First Ipswich depot run no routes that intersect with any First routes from any other depots. If First and Ipswich Council both put their operations for sale, both could attract good prices, especially from the same company, such as Go-Ahead or Stagecoach.
     
  12. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    19 May 2014
    I think it goes something like

    BOLTON
    2, 68 (Bolton/Farnworth to Trafford Centre)
    8, 36, 37 (Bolton to Manchester)
    471 (Bolton to Oldham via Bury)
    472/474 (Bury locals)
    501, 507, 561/562 (Bolton locals)
    511, 524 (Bolton to Bury)
    582 (Bolton to Leigh)
    V1/V2 (Manchester to Leigh/Atherton)

    OLDHAM
    6, 454/457 (Rochdale locals)
    38/39, 331/333, 346, 348, 389, 393 (Tameside locals)
    58/59 (Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham)
    81/81A, 83, 180/184 (Manchester to Oldham & Beyond)
    181/182 (Manchester to Shaw)
    350 (Oldham to Ashton)
    409 (Rochdale to Ashton via Oldham)
    415 (Oldham to Middleton)
    425 (Oldham local)

    QUEEN'S ROAD
    17/18 (Manchester to Middleton/Rochdale)
    33 (Manchester to Worsley)
    41 (Middleton to Sale via Manchester)
    52/53, 93 (Manchester locals)
    67, 100 (Manchester to Cadishead/Warrington)
    95, 97/98 (Bury to Salford/Manchester)
    135, 163/X63 (Manchester to Bury)
    149 (Cheetham Hill to Oldham)
    Free Bus Around the City
     
  13. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    The tangible assets of First GM are £57m out of £58.5m so very little is actually goodwill. The vast, vast majority are vehicles and premises so it's not to do with goodwill.
     
  14. Kahuna47

    Kahuna47 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    13 Sep 2017
    Thats pretty much it - the only one thats different is the 163 (and 162 up to Norden) are ran from Bolton. Strangely the X63 Heywood/Manc are ran out of Queens.

    Also, for the sake of completeness, there's a Middleton local by the number of 19 which Queens run too :)

    K
     
  15. Rod Harrison

    Rod Harrison Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    15 Oct 2017
    Thanks for the info. Surprised how few city services are operated by Queens Road and could see that being available for Stagecoach given services operated by other routes. The 41 (Manchester tp Sale section) would have to go and possibly the 52/53.
     
  16. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

    Messages:
    1,213
    Joined:
    19 Dec 2014
    The MMC is more likely to look at the overall effect on the Greater Manchester area as a whole, not just the route by route overlap.
     
  17. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    19 May 2014
    I’m guessing buying Finglands has been a disaster for First. Although they were significantly outnumbered by Stagecoach on Wilmslow Road at least they had a presence. First have wound the operation down to practically nothing.

    What student is going to buy a First pass when they run one route every 15 minutes when Stagecoach run every few minutes. Stagecoach must be laughing.
     
  18. KendalKing

    KendalKing Established Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    4 Mar 2009
    Location:
    North Lancs
    162/163 are run from Bolton.
     
  19. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    I'm sure I've read somewhere that the land Oldham depot is built on is possibly earmarked for re-development in the future, I guess it's always possible that First could retain Oldham Depot & sell the land seperately. I've found a planning application from 2003 for a supermarket, which was withdraw. I believe Queens Road depot is owned by TfGM.
     
  20. Eyersey468

    Eyersey468 Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    14 Sep 2018
    It would be ironic if Go Ahead bought the former Finglands operations in Manchester
     
  21. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    Then someone has to find a depot that can accommodate 150-200 vehicles!

    I think there’s some confusion on Queens Road depot. TfGM own the adjoining Boyle Street museum and rent it out on a peppercorn AFAIK. Don’t know about the main depot building.
     
  22. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    Potentially in time, Oldham is 210 vehicle allocation, open air parking as per Bolton is far more cost effective these days.

    See post #6421 re: Oldham.
    http://dartslf.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=366&pid=125533#pid125533

    Both Queens Road & Oldham are traditional fully covered bus depots, one thing that stood out is that neither one had solar panel's generating electricity on their roofs, which is pretty common at NX bus depots.

    Post #6430 suggests that TfGM own Queens Road & First lease it:
    http://dartslf.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=366&pid=125533#pid125533

    I don't think there's a great deal left of Finglands to buy.
     
  23. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    Post 6430 states TfGM own the museum.

    The poster is making an assumption on the actual depot.

    Post 6427 states that TfGM own the museum but that it isn’t affected by the depot.

    In that series of posts, it seems unclear as to who owns Queens Road and if it is TfGM, on what terms. Hence why I referred to confusion.
     
  24. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    Fair point!

    I was thinking along the lines of the £20 million sale proceeds not including Oldham Depot & Queens Road (if QR is potentially still owned by TfGM).
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2019
  25. Volvodart

    Volvodart Member

    Messages:
    966
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2010
    They have got leasehold property, but it is a small part of the total going by net book value.
     
  26. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    It's £1.4 million pounds worth of building property that First don't own the land too. No idea what that might include.
     
  27. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    Think this is really the problem. There is understandably speculation but it's based on a rumoured £20m figure (does it include some or all fleet, properties etc?) and even then, we can't see what the assets actually are. So it could be that Queens Road is leased or owned, or that there has been some sort of sale and leaseback on one of the other depots?
     
  28. winston270twm

    winston270twm Established Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2012
    The sale & lease back in possible, NX have been doing that of late with Dundee & a couple of NXWM depots.
     
  29. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    10,210
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    First did it with Newcastle under Lyme depot and there may be other examples elsewhere.

    IIRC, they did something similar with Dalkeith though that may have been slightly different in that they sold the depot but were able to lease it back pending redevelopment.
     
  30. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,300
    Joined:
    2 Jul 2014
    Location:
    Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
    They attempted at the start, they ran a night service on the routes serving the University however that didn’t seem to last all that long and they withdrew it.
    They were also in a price war with Stagecoach on that corridor with a flat £1 fare. Add all that together with the rather frosty industrial relations and it’s no wonder they didn’t do all that well.
    Sam
     

Share This Page