LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Stagecoach Group plc (SGC.L) said it is no longer proceeding with its planned acquisition of the North Devon business and assets of First Devon and Cornwall Ltd., part of FirstGroup Plc (FGP.L, FGROF.PK, FGROY.PK). It follows the decision by the Office of Fair Trading to refer the anticipated acquisition to the Competition Commission due to 'concerns the merger will reduce competition in local bus services in the area'.
Stagecoach Group had announced on March 12, 2012 that its subsidiary, Stagecoach Devon Ltd., had signed an agreement with First Devon and Cornwall to buy its business and assets in North Devon and Torridge for a gross consideration of 2.8 million pounds.
A Stagecoach Group spokesman said, 'We are extremely disappointed at the decision of the OFT to refer what is a relatively small transaction to the Competition Commission.
We do not believe we can justify spending further money and management time on what has already been a lengthy process.
As a result, we have reluctantly decided not to proceed with the acquisition and have informed First we are withdrawing.'
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX