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Go-Ahead agrees £648m takeover by Kinetic, Globalvia; Kelsian still interested

Transport operator Go-Ahead has accepted a £647.7m takeover offer from Australian bus firm Kinetic and Spanish infrastructure investor Globalvia Inversiones, but a takeover battle could emerge after Kelsian said it was still interested.
Under the terms of the deal, Go-Ahead shareholders will be entitled to receive 1,500p per share. This comprises of 1,450p in cash and a special dividend of 50p per share, in lieu of a final dividend for the year ending 2 July.

Go-Ahead chief executive Christian Schreyer 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.”

Australian bus company Kelsian, which has also been in talks with Go-Ahead about a possible offer, said on Tuesday that it was still interested in doing a deal and that any offer would be in cash. It urged Go-Ahead shareholders “to take no action at this time”.

“Kelsian believes that the potential combination with Go-Ahead would create an international leader in multi-modal, mass transit supporting a sustainability agenda for its passengers and governments, with strong growth prospects,” it said.

The company said it was continuing “to carefully assess the opportunity with a disciplined focus on the strategic and financial rationale”.

At 0810 BST, Go-Ahead shares were up 13.4% at 1,542.00p.

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