Friday, 16 October 2009

CVC & Cosmen Family Withdraw From Takeover Bid

In what is being seen as something of a surprise move the Cosmen Family and CVC have pulled out of their proposed takeover bid for National Express Group. Media reports suggest that the consortium faced a number of hurdles, including the £1bn - £1.2bn needed debt package and they were not able to secure the necessary funding.

National Express Group will now seek to raise cash from investors to strengthen its financial position in a move that will be supported by the Cosmen family who own 18.5% of the company.

This latest move now brings back into play the prospect of the government taking back the NXEA and C2C franchises into public ownership, albeit temporarily, following the imminent hand over of the troubled NXEC franchise by National Express. Assuming, as many do, that the government would rather see the franchises stay in the private sector it may well be that another operator - perhaps Stagecoach - will make a bid....?

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