Shares in Scots transport giant surge after ex-Arriva chief joins

SHARES in FirstGroup leapt more than six per cent after it belatedly agreed to a key demand from an activist investor which led an unsuccessful campaign to oust the board earlier this year.

Investors reacted positively after the Aberdeen -based bus and rail giant announced the appointment of former Arriva boss David Martin as chairman, with immediate effect.

He replaces Wolfhart Hauser, who stepped down last month after sustained pressure from activist investor Coast Capital, the company’s biggest shareholder with a 10.01% stake.

Mr Martin, who led Arriva between 2006 and 2016, had been among an initial tranche of nominees whom US-based Coast said should be given positions on the board at the company.

Coast claimed the board, under chief executive Matthew Gregory and Mr Hauser, had “presided over a “track record of value destruction and under-performance”.

Coast welcomed the decision by FirstGroup to appoint Mr Martin as chairman, describing it as the “beginning of a new and productive chapter in the company’s history.”

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