NAPERVILLE, Ill. — On July 6, Laidlaw International Inc. announced its third-quarter financial results and provided an update on its pending merger with FirstGroup plc.
Consolidated revenue for the quarter was $869 million, which was slightly higher than the previous year, and its income from continuing operations totaled $61 million, up 40 percent from last year. The company's school bus transportation division — Laidlaw Education Services — also fared well during the quarter, with a 7.5 percent growth in revenue. An increase in contracted service with school districts, as well as an increase in inflationary prices, facilitated the growth. In February, Laidlaw entered into a merger agreement with FirstGroup plc, wherein FirstGroup will acquire the outstanding common shares of Laidlaw for $35.25 per share in cash. On April 20, the companies' stockholders and shareholders approved the merger. The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR Act) requires the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division to review impending corporate merger agreements. Therefore, on April 30, the Antitrust Division requested information from both companies relating to their student transportation services, which, under the HSR Act, extended the amount of time the companies are required to wait before implementing the merger. As of last Friday, Laidlaw and FirstGroup had complied with the request for additional information. Under the HSR Act, the Antitrust Division must complete its review within 30 days, but it has asked the companies for additional time.