Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 13:38 UK

Spanish join National Express bid

National Express train
National Express has not commented on the development

A major shareholder in National Express has joined with a private equity firm to formulate a possible takeover bid.

The Cosmen family from Spain, which owns 18.5% in the transport firm, has teamed up with CVC Capital Partners.

CVC confirmed the consortium had made an initial proposal "to acquire for cash" all shares in National Express.

It comes after First Group dropped out the running as a possible suitor, and after National Express said it had been approached by an unnamed suitor.

National Express - which operates bus and rail services - has not commented on any potential deal, which could be worth more than £500m ($800m) according to the Financial Times.

Shares in National Express were ahead by more than 9% at midday on the London Stock Exchange.

Four years ago the Cosmen family sold the coach firm Alsa to National Express for £149m and a 10% holding in the firm, which employs 43,000 people through operations in the UK, North America and Spain

The Cosmen stake has been built up since then and Jorge Cosmen is deputy chairman of the National Express board.

Franchise row

On Wednesday, First Group had said it would be "inappropriate" to consider a formal takeover of National Express, because of uncertainties surrounding the business.

The government is set to take the National Express-run East Coast main line into state ownership, after the firm asked for its contract to be renegotiated.

National Express has also been warned its other rail deals may be terminated.

When the government announced it would be taking the East Coast route into state ownership, Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said there might be grounds to end National Express's other two franchises - East Anglia and the London to Tilbury and Southend operation.

However, National Express has said it feels the government has "no grounds" to do this and will challenge any such attempt in court.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
New suitor for National Express
23 Jul 09 |  Business
East Coast rail to be state-run
01 Jul 09 |  Business
National Express turns down bid
29 Jun 09 |  Business
Profits rise at transport group
13 May 09 |  Business
National Express in Spanish deal
11 Oct 05 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific