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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Bosses at Norwich's bus service provider launch scathing attack on shareholder

PUBLISHED: 13:26 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:26 04 June 2019

First bus in Norwich; Photo: Bill Smith

First bus in Norwich; Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

Infighting has broken out at board level of Norwich's main bus provider.

FirstGroup has launched an attack on its main shareholder calling them an "opportunistic, self-interested player that is only focused on short-term gains".

FirstGroup runs Norfolk's FirstBus service, which operates services across the county and in Suffolk.

The tirade was issued as bosses attempt to stave off a boardroom coup.

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US activist investor Coast Capital has a 9.7% stake in FirstGroup and wants to vote off six of 11 members of the company's board - including the chief executive and chairman - replacing them with seven of their own representatives.

Bosses said Coast's planned new board members did not have sufficient experience and had "put forward plans that are inconsistent, demonstrate a lack of understanding of FirstGroup and are rooted in the past".

They added: "Based on its many interactions with Coast Capital to date and its claims and proposals, the board believes that Coast Capital is an opportunistic, self-interested player that is only focused on short-term gains."

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