- International transport company Stagecoach Group said on Thursday it had entered into an agreement to sell its North America division as it refocuses on its UK operations.

The group would sell the division for an estimated enterprise valuation of US$271.4m to an affiliate of Variant Equity Advisors and would use the cash proceeds to reduce the Group's consolidated net debt.

The deal included $207m in cash and $64.4m in debt, after adjusting for the $20m of dividends paid in November. The company expects the sale to complete by 27 April 2019.

The management of the North America division were expected to remain with the business after the sale while Stagegroup's management would mainly focus on its UK bus and rail operations and growth opportunities in the UK.

"The sale of our North American operations will allow management to focus more closely on the significant opportunities for growth in the UK. We have strong bus and rail operations in the UK where public transport has good prospects as the clear solution to the challenges of increasing road congestion and poor air quality," said Martin Griffiths, Stagecoach Chief Executive.

For the year to 27 October 2018, Stagecoach reported revenue of US$619.4m (£460.3m) and operating profit of US$21.7m (£15.9m) for the North America Division.

For the last full Stagecoach financial year to 28 April 2018, revenue for the North America Division was US$630.0m (£470.9m), operating profit was US$28.1m (£21.0m) and profit before tax was US$23.8m (£17.8m).

The gross assets of the North America Division as at 27 October 2018 were US$478.6m (£373.3m).

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