Page last updated at 06:41 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

National Express ends bid talks

National Express train
National Express said its annual profits will be below expectations

National Express has said that all talks of a merger with rival Stagecoach have now ended.

"It is unlikely that a combination with Stagecoach could be successfully executed in 2009, even if appropriate terms could be agreed," it said.

Stagecoach had approached the train operator about a tie-up with the East Coast Main Line operator this month.

Stagecoach said it was "extremely disappointed" that National Express decided against its offer.

'Compelling proposition'

"Stagecoach believed that there was a compelling strategic and financial proposition for a combination which would have represented a unique opportunity to deliver incremental value for both sets of shareholders," it said.

Stagecoach, which operates South West Trains and East Midlands Trains, had made a new all-share offer for its rival.

National Express said that it intended to raise funds by issuing more shares "as soon as possible".

It warned last week that its full-year profits are set to fall below expectations because of higher interest costs and lower profits at its North American business.

Earlier this month, a group led by its largest shareholder, Spain's Cosmen family, withdrew a £765m takeover offer.



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16 Oct 09 |  Business
Spanish join National Express bid
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New suitor for National Express
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22 Jul 09 |  Scotland
National Express turns down bid
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