Transport deal

Go-Ahead accepts £648 million takeover offer

Go Ahead hydrogen bus
Go-Ahead is the latest UK transport company to fall to a takeover

Go-Ahead has accepted a takeover offer from an Australian-Spanish consortium that values the bus and train operator at about £648 million.

The company announced after the market closed that Kinetic Holding and the transport infrastructure firm Globalvia Inversiones had offered £15 a share, a 10% premium on Monday’s closing price.

Go-Ahead shareholders have been offered £14.50 in cash and a special dividend of 50p per share instead of a final dividend for the fiscal year ending on 2 July.

The board of Go-Ahead said it would recommend the offer after earlier rejecting an approach from another Australia-based group, Kelsian, one of Australia’s biggest transport groups.

It marks the latest takeover activity in the UK transport sector following the acquisition of Stagecoach and the talks involving FirstGroup.

Perth-based Stagecoach has been bought by the German investor DWS in a £595 million deal whuile FirstGroup last week rejected a £1.2bn approach from I Squared Capital, the UK private equity firm.

Kinetic is the largest and fastest-growing bus operator in Australia and New Zealand, with close to 4,000 buses and 6,000 employees. By the end of 2022, Kinetic is expected to be the region’s largest operator of electric buses, with more than 200 in operation.

Globalvia has more than 2,000 employees and operates metro train services and motorway concessions in Spain, but also has interests in the US, Portugal, Costa Rica and Chile.

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