Friday 18 March 2022

Rival Offer for Stagecoach Being Questioned Following Statement By National Express

Following the £594.9 million takeover offer from Bus and rail operator DWS Infrastructure for Stagecoach, that beats a bid by rival National Express, Nat Ex have hit back saying that it believes the National Express deal provides Stagecoach shareholders with a better deal. 

Nat Ex say their bid gives the opportunity to participate fully in the exciting future of the industry and the compelling growth and value creation potential of the Combined Group, representing a superior value creation opportunity when compared to the DWS cash offer.

Although Stagecoach had said it was no longer recommending the National Express £445 million offer, as it had agreed to an offer from DWS, it might now have to re-examine the deal following the Nat Ex comments.

DWS Infrastructure is building a transportation business and has
invested in Belgian public bus operator Hansea.

Inframobility is owned by Pan-European Infrastructure III, which is in turn managed and advised by infrastructure investment manager DWS Infrastructure. Deutsche Bank owns 79.49% of their shares.

The Board of National Express has said it therefore encourages Stagecoach shareholders to take no action in relation to the DWS Offer. Further announcements by National Express will be made as and when appropriate. 
In the meantime "the National Express Board encourages all shareholders to look through the current period of market volatility and value both National Express and Stagecoach based on their respective fundamentals, strong future prospects and the significant benefits and synergies that the National Express Board believes an all-share Combination will deliver".

Stagecoach shares closed 37.2%higher at around 104.4 pence, almost in line with Inframobility's offer price of 105 pence per share in cash.

Pan-European Infrastructure III said cash payable to Stagecoach shareholders would be financed through equity capital.

It is said the DWS deal was "far superior" and its all-cash part made that offer more attractive, while the National Express one was an all-stock deal.

One of the major issues with the National Express deal was that it was subject to an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, which will delay the process of the two firms merging to form such a large group.