Go-Ahead reaches takeover bid agreement
Go-Ahead has agreed a takeover offer.
Go-Ahead has reached an agreement with Bidco, a newly formed company indirectly owned by Kinetic and Globalvia Inversiones, for a recommended cash acquisition. It follows two acquisition bids announced recently, one made by Bidco, the other by Kelsian (the Australian transport provider that owns London bus operator Tower Transit, as well as other transport and tourism operations across the globe).
The acquisition from Bidco values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Go-Ahead at approximately £647.7 million. In its statement announcing the offer, Go-Ahead said the acquisition value implies an enterprise value of approximately 11 times Go-Ahead’s pre-IFRS-16 EBIT for the 52 weeks ended 1 January 2022.
The Go-Ahead Directors intend to recommend unanimously that Go-Ahead shareholders vote in favour of the scheme.
Go-Ahead notes that since the statement made by FirstGroup on 26 May 2022 regarding an unsolicited approach from I Squared Capital Advisors, the share price of Go-Ahead has risen by 19.8%.
Globalvia is a transport infrastructure specialist and Kinetic operates buses in Australia and New Zealand.
“This is a compelling offer which combines an attractive valuation for shareholders with bright prospects for Go-Ahead’s operations and colleagues around the world” – Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead
Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive of Go-Ahead, said: “This is a compelling offer which combines an attractive valuation for shareholders with bright prospects for Go-Ahead’s operations and colleagues around the world.
“We have confidence in Go-Ahead’s future as an independent business, but see that being part of a truly global mass transit platform will yield exciting opportunities. We welcome the commitment of Kinetic and Globalvia to invest in the decarbonisation and digitalisation of our operations, and to support our strategy, The Next Billion Journeys.
“As a standalone business within a global platform, we will be better placed than ever to connect communities and to fulfil our purpose of moving our customers towards a smarter and healthier planet.”
“We are one of world’s largest operators of electric buses and we will not only provide the necessary long term capital but the expertise to facilitate the rapid transition of Go-Ahead’s bus fleet from diesel to zero-emission technology” – Michael Sewards, Co-CEO of Kinetic
Michael Sewards, Co-CEO of Kinetic, said: “We are delighted that the Board of Go-Ahead has unanimously recommended our offer to shareholders. As Australia and New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing bus operator, with the majority of our revenue aligned to long-term government contracts, we will bring proven experience to accelerate the delivery of Go-Ahead’s Next Billion Journeys growth strategy. We are one of world’s largest operators of electric buses and we will not only provide the necessary long term capital but the expertise to facilitate the rapid transition of Go-Ahead’s bus fleet from diesel to zero-emission technology.”
“With operations around the world, our experience will help Go-Ahead grow in existing and new geographies while remaining a standalone UK business” – Javier Pérez Fortea, CEO of Globalvia
Javier Pérez Fortea, CEO of Globalvia, said: “As a leader in the management of transport infrastructure concessions, specialising in railways, we believe we can add real value in helping Go-Ahead become a leading global, multi-modal, mass transit platform. With operations around the world, our experience will help Go-Ahead grow in existing and new geographies while remaining a standalone UK business. Along with Kinetic we have a long-term approach and we are culturally aligned sharing a common mission based on delivering value for our customers.”