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Stagecoach considers a late bid for National Express

After National Express turndown a potential offer for the business from CVC Capital Partners it really is crisis point for the UK travel company. It appears that CVC Capital Partners offered in the region of £4.50 a share but this was turned down by the directors of National Express even though the business has accrued massive debts over the last few years.

While there has been no formal confirmation that the CVC Capital Partners team will be walking away from National Express and abandoning their attempt to take over the business, many people believe that next week will see a formal announcement. If the bid collapses, and Stagecoach does not enter negotiations in the short term, it is highly likely that National Express will press ahead with a £350 million rights issue to try and reduce the company's net debt.

Stagecoach had initially been in talks with CVC Capital Partners regarding the acquisition of part of the National Express operation, if their bid had been successful, and due to this involvement the company only has until 11 September to confirm whether or not an offer will be made. This short-term uncertainty is doing National Express no favours as the operation is struggling and the UK travel company's banks are knocking at the door for answers.

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