Equities Transport and Tourism

FirstGroup share price: Chair to step down despite activist investor defeat

FirstGroup’s (LON:FGP) annual general meeting saw the company defeat an attempt by an activist investor to oust its entire board, the Greyhound owner has said. The group’s chairman, however, agreed to stand down.

FirstGroup’s share price fell marginally in the previous session, giving up 0.25 percent to close at 98.5p. The group’s shares have added just under 23 percent to their value over the past year.

FirstGroup updates on AGM

FirstGroup announced in a statement yesterday that it was ‘pleased’ that its shareholders had ‘decisively’ against Coast Capital’s attempt to take control of the the company. The hedge fund, which owns about 10 percent in the mid-cap group, had been urging for a radical overhaul of the company.

The group, however, noted that more than 20 percent of shareholders voted in favour of several resolutions against the Board’s recommendation. The company’s chairman Wolfhart Hauser further decided to step down.

“Having renewed the Board through the appointment of independent directors with a diverse range of skills and expertise focused on the future of mobility services and overseen the appointment of Matthew Gregory as Chief Executive and Ryan Mangold as Chief Financial Officer to drive delivery of the strategy, it is now time for me to move on,” he pointed out.

The Guardian meanwhile quoted Coast Capital as commenting that the resignation of Hauser was a ‘constructive first step’ in achieving value for shareholders.

The AGM came after FirstGroup recently unveiled plans to rationalise its portfolio, focusing on its core American businesses First Student and First Transit.

Analysts on mid-cap company

The eight analysts offering 12-month targets for the FirstGroup share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 119.50p, with a high estimate of 160.00p and a low estimate of 90.00p. As of June 21, the consensus forecast amongst nine polled investment analysts covering the transport group has it the company will outperform the market.

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