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National Express refuses to budge on Stagecoach takeover offer

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National Express refuses to budge on Stagecoach takeover offer

National Express refuses to budge on Stagecoach takeover offer as it maintains its bid is ‘superior’ to that of German fund DWS

  • National Express said its all-share combination with Stagecoach was now final
  • It urged investors not to take action in relation to the £595m offer by DWS 
  • DWS bid, however, has already been backed by Stagecoach’s board

National Express has confirmed it will not raise its bid for Stagecoach, maintaining that its offer is ‘superior’ to that of rival bidder DWS.

The bus and coach operator reiterated that its all-share combination with Stagecoach was still a better choice for shareholders and said the offer was now final.

It once again urged investors not to take action in relation to the £595million offer by German investment fund DWS, which gatecrashed the deal and whose bid, however, has already been backed by Stagecoach’s board. 

Final offer: National Express said it would not raise its bid as it consider it ‘full and fair’

The group said: ‘National Express considers the terms of its proposal to be full and fair and has decided that the terms will not be increased and are now final, save that National Express reserves the right to improve these terms with the recommendation of the Stagecoach Board.

‘The Board of National Express continues to encourage Stagecoach shareholders to take no action in relation to the DWS Offer. Further announcements by National Express will be made as and when appropriate.’

National Express shares were down 1.9 per cent to 245p in morning trading, while Stagecoach shares were down 0.2 per cent to 104.40p. 

National Express said its proposed exchange ratio represents a value of 90p per Stagecoach share, based on National Express’ latest share price of 250p at close on Friday.

It said its offer also represented an ‘illustrative look-through value’ of approximately 113p per Stagecoach share,  which would be a 7 per cent premium to the DWS offer. 

DWS said it had secured 30.4 per cent acceptances for its takeover, unchanged from recent updates.

It comes after National Express saw revenues bounce back to pre-pandemic levels at the start of the year thanks to strong recovery in its UK and European coach businesses.

The firm’s performance in March was ahead of the same period three years ago, as it cashed in on pent-up demand for travel as lockdown restrictions were eased.

The Easter holidays had been particularly strong, with strong demand for its London airport routes on Good Friday as holidaymakers jetted off abroad.

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