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Shares of FirstGroup PLC (LON: FGP) erupted 18% today after a report in the Sunday Telegraph noted that a number of companies are interested in acquiring the firm’s U.S. operations.

FirstGroup, which operates bus and rail businesses in the UK and U.S., is looking to offload its U.S. operations, as previously reported in March. The Sunday Telegraph says that KKR, Brookfield, I Squared Capital, and Apollo Global Management – some of the largest private buyout funds – are all interested in acquiring the company’s U.S. arm.

The sale of a well-run business in the United States will generate much-needed cash for the company that suffered greatly amid the pandemic. Two months ago, FirstGroup posted a loss of £153 million for the previous financial year.

FirstGroup share price soared 18% to print a fresh 2-month high at 46.98p.

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