National Express, Stagecoach merger talks extended to December

National Express

National Express has been given a new deadline of 14 December to make a firm offer for a takeover of Stagecoach, routeone understands.

In a statement released on Tuesday 16 November National Express revealed that the Board of Stagecoach has requested, and the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (the Takeover Panel) has consented to, an extension to the date by which the operator is required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Stagecoach.

The new deadline is set at no later than 1700hrs on 14 December. The deadline can be extended by the Board of Stagecoach with consent of the Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the code on takeovers and mergers.

“Reciprocal due diligence is now at an advanced stage and constructive discussions between Stagecoach and National Express are ongoing. The Boards of Stagecoach and National Express continue to believe that the Potential Combination would be a strategically compelling proposition delivering strong value creation for both set of shareholders,” writes the operator.

The pair have been in discussions since September under the terms of an all-share deal which valued Stagecoach at £445m. The latest announcement follows a previous deadline extension after the October 19 date passed.