FirstGroup announced this evening that its board has unanimously rejected a possible takeover offer from Apollo Management IX LP, a New York-based private investment company.
First has not disclosed how much money may be on offer, but says the “preliminary and highly conditional indicative proposal” was for a cash sum to acquire all of the issued and to be issued share capital in FirstGroup, which operates buses and trains in the UK, coaches in Ireland and buses and coaches in North America.
Apollo has until 17.00 on 9 May either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for First or announce that it does not intend to make an offer.
First says its announcement today has been made without the agreement or approval of Apollo.
“The Board of FirstGroup has considered the proposal in detail and believes that it fundamentally undervalues the company and is opportunistic in nature. Accordingly, the Board of FirstGroup has unanimously rejected the proposal,” it says. “There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made. A further announcement will be made in due course if and when appropriate.”