FirstGroup subsidiary, First South West Limited, has bought-out its 50-50 joint venture partner in Somerset Passenger Solutions Ltd (SPS).

SPS, which started in 2016 as a joint venture with 50/50 ownership between First South West Limited, and Somerset-based JJP Holdings (South West) Limited, operates the contract to provide transport for workers employed at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Bridgwater.

The shares have been bought from (JJPH), giving FirstGroup control over the business.

The buy-out, funded from FirstGroup’s existing cash resources, is £8.4m, paid on completion, with potential deferred consideration of up to £1.6m if certain conditions are met.

The company has grown in accordance with the increasing amount of work on site and now employs around 450 people running a 156 vehicle-strong operation, delivering shuttle services seven days a week to and from Hinkley Point C.

The business has annual revenues of approximately £37m. The purchase of the remaining 50% of SPS shares forms part of the First Bus strategy to develop and grow its share of the business-to-business services market.