SCOTTISH transport giant FirstGroup faces fresh obstacles as a rebel investor launched a new bid to force its North American business off-track.

The Aberdeen-based group has bus and train operations in the UK and US.

These include America’s iconic Greyhound bus brand and school transport services as well as the Avanti West Coast rail franchise linking Scotland and London.

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But it recorded a £187.1 million loss in November due to problems with Greyhound and self-insurance claims.

In its half-yearly report, the business stated revenue was £3.53 billion. Those figures were released after a turbulent period in which activist investor Coast Capital attempted to eject the board of FirstGroup, criticising the leadership and accusing it of “destroying” shareholders’ capital.

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The row cost FirstGroup its chairman Wolfhart Hauser, who stood down amidst Coast Capital efforts to topple the board and bring in several new members.

His replacement David Martin had called the US divisions “valuable assets and well positioned in markets with profitable growth”, however the group has yet to make a sale and the share price has fallen by 20% since December.

Yesterday shares tumbled by 5% after Coast Capital announced fresh moves to change the group’s direction.

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The investor holds more than 10% of FirstGroup shares and has announced plans to call an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) to force the sell-off of its North American business.

In a statement, Coast Capital said demerging the US school transport and public bus operations from its UK side would “create immediate value for shareholders”.

FirstGroup will release a trading statement tomorrow and said: “The board agrees that there is material value to be unlocked within the group and is intent on delivering this in the best interests of all shareholders.”