Coast Capital raises stake in FirstGroup prompting speculation of board shake-up

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FirstGroup investor Coast Capital, which has previously pushed for a break-up of the company, has raised its stake and sent a requisition notice to call a general meeting of the transport operator.

The ‘activist shareholder’ now holds 9.77% of First’s issued share capital – a stake valued at almost £100m according to ThisIsMoney – making it one of the company’s largest shareholders.

Coast Capital has proposed to take control of First’s board by removing six of the current 11 Directors and appointing seven of its own nominees.

FirstGroup said in a statement: “The board of FirstGroup are focused on delivering shareholder value and are confident that the Company has the right team with the right experience and plans in place to do so.

“The board regularly reviews its composition to ensure it maintains an appropriate balance of skills and expertise, and new board members have been added, as recently as earlier this month.”

The operator will be releasing its full year results on 30 May, as well as updating shareholders on the company’s progress and future strategy.

“FirstGroup considers the views of all shareholders and, accordingly, will continue to engage with Coast Capital having attempted to do so constructively for more than a year,” the statement continued.

“The Company’s engagement with Coast Capital has included detailed responses to several proposals and has involved a number of meetings with the Chairman and with senior management.”