First South West take control of Somerset Passenger Solutions

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The Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor construction staff transport service provider is now fully in FirstGroup ownership after it acquired the remaining shareholding from partner JJP Holdings

FirstGroup has announced that its First South West subsidiary has acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in the Somerset Passenger Solutions (SPS) joint venture. The shares have been acquired from partner JJP Holdings (JJP), giving FirstGroup full control over the business. The purchase is being funded from FirstGroup’s existing cash resources, at a cost of £8.4m, paid on completion, with a potential deferred payment of up to £1.6m if certain conditions are met.

SPS, which started in 2016 as a joint venture with 50/50 ownership between First South West, and Somerset-based JJP, operates the contract to provide transport for workers employed at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station construction site near Bridgwater.

The company has grown in line with the increasing amount of work on site and now employs around 450 people running a 156 vehicle operation, delivering shuttle services seven days a week to and from Hinkley Point C. The business has annual revenues of approximately £37m, and First said the purchase of the remaining 50% of SPS shares forms part of the its strategy to develop and grow its share of the business-to-business services market.

Recent fleet investment has seen the delivery of new Mercedes-Benz Tourismos. RICHARD SHARMAN