Spanish consortium lifts offer for National Express to £765m

Spain's Cosmen family and CVC Capital Partners has tabled an increased offer worth £765 million for the train and bus operator, National Express.

The Spanish consortium has lifted the offer after Perth-based Stagecoach agreed to purchase National Express's UK bus plus rail business from the consortium in case a deal hits.

Spain's Cosmen family owns around 18.6 per cent share in National Express.

The new offer values the company at 500p a share, about 11 per cent higher as compared with its previous bid, which was declined by the board members of National Express.

Douglas McNeill, an analyst, said, "It is an attractive price while still allowing the consortium a bit of upside."

Some shareholders in National Express want the company to sell some of its assets directly to Stagecoach and the rest to the Cosmen family.

National Express has been targeted for takeover since its announcement in July that it hoped to default on its franchise to operate rail services between London and Edinburgh.

National Express' shares jumped 54p to close at 466p, while shares in Stagecoach soared to 146p, up 15p.