On 21 September 2021, National Express Group and Stagecoach Group announced that they were in discussions in relation to a possible all-share combination. The companies report that reciprocal due diligence is now at an ‘advanced stage’ and that constructive discussions between the two parties are ongoing. The Boards of the two companies continue to believe that the potential combination would be a strategically compelling proposition delivering strong value creation for both sets of shareholders.
The Board of Stagecoach recently requested, and was granted consent by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers for, an extension to the date by which National Express is required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Stagecoach or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer. Any announcement must now be made by 1700hrs on 14 December, barring any further requests for extensions.