Rival takeover bid for Stagecoach recommended for acceptance with National Express deal ditched


A rival offer for Stagecoach Group is being recommended to shareholders with a buy out plan from National Express now off the table.

Last year National Express was in talks to buy the Stagecoach Group in an all-share arrangement worth £445m.

But today (March 9) it has been announced that a new offer from Inframobility UK Bidco -a company indirectly linked to a fund managed by  DWS Infrastructure – is to be recommended instead.

The DWS Infrastructure offer is for 105 pence for each Stagecoach share, resulting in a value of £595m.

Stagecoach has confirmed that it no longer intends to recommend the National Express offer.

An announcement from Stagecoach says: “Stagecoach and DWS share a vision around the benefits of transitioning to a more sustainable world and both have a track record of unlocking value for all stakeholders.

“It will provide continuity in terms of the well-regarded senior management team, with the retention of the current Chief Executive, Finance Director and UK Managing Director.

“For employees, it will provide greater certainty over the future, with overall headcount in frontline operational roles expected to remain the same, as well as the retention of Stagecoach’s existing headquarter functions and related roles in Perth, London and Stockport. Employees will also benefit from the commitments given to the SGPS.

“The Offer will provide access to capital to invest in services and deliver on Stagecoach’s existing strategy to transition to a net-zero future, delivering multiple benefits to the customers and communities it serves.”

Hamish Mackenzie, Head of Infrastructure at DWS said:”Stagecoach is a fantastic business with an exciting future as a central player in a revitalised UK bus and coach market. As a long-term investor in essential services with a strong track record in the UK and European transport sectors, DWS Infrastructure will back Stagecoach to rapidly capitalise on the growth opportunities presented by increased public and private investment in UK bus and coach.

“We are focused on supporting Stagecoach and its management team to deliver their strategy for the benefit of passengers, local communities and employees, as well as helping achieve ambitious plans for reaching Net Zero. We are pleased the Board of Stagecoach has unanimously recommended our offer and we look forward to working with the existing management team to grow the business sustainably for the long-term.”

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach said:”Stagecoach is a leading multi-modal public transport operator and the proposed offer presents a major opportunity to maximise the significant growth potential ahead as governments seek to deliver economic recovery, level up communities, provide better health outcomes for citizens, and transition to a net zero future.

“We believe it will open a new and exciting chapter for Stagecoach, backed by a team who share our vision for a more sustainable future. We also believe it will deliver positive outcomes both now and in the long-term for all of our key stakeholders: the customers and the communities we serve, the people who deliver our high-quality transport services, our partners in national and local government, and the investors who have supported our continued success over many decades.”

The Stagecoach bus company was founded in 1980 by Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag, who bought Manston airport in 2013 and shut it a year later, selling a majority stake to businessmen Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave who formed Stone Hill Park.

DWS Infrastructure investments in the UK include Corelink, Kelda -which owns Yorkshire Water – and Peel Ports.


  1. There were many in Thanet like myself hoping that the name would disappear considering the amount of damage the directors carried out within the district and in particular one of the originators of the company. The slow demise of Stagecoach though-out America and New Zealand is testament to their popularity.
    Let’s see how much the new owners claw out of KCC in order to subsidise routes.

    • The ‘damage’ to Manston was done long before the person you refer to got hold of it, they just put it out of it’s misery !

    • She bought the airport for a quid because nobody else was interested, then a couple of years later they are offering crazy money for it. Where were RiverOak, SHP & the others when they could have bought it for a pound themselves? Blame them.

  2. This must be the ‘Global Britain’,that those advocating detachment from the EU were intending all along.
    DWS is a German asset management company,DWS is an acronym for the ‘Fund Specialists’.
    I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but it does seem to me that the wheel has come full circle.I don’t think,privately owned ‘public transport’,road,rail or tram, has much economic or social life left in it.The bus network is shrinking and such profit as is available, is reliant on state assistance. Soon it will dawn on those handing out the cash, that this cannot be sustained.

    • Public transport should be publicly owned but that’s not the Tories’ thing, is it.

      Perhaps when car owners are priced out of their addiction to the private car, they will come to their senses and realize that they should have been using public transport-when it was there and affordable- all along.

      • Marva Rees you seem to live in a parallel universe, ever tried getting a bus at 4:30 in the morning to get to work? Ever tried getting 3 young children to school a few miles away when it’s a winters day? And that is just for starters. Many people have no alternative to a private car and don’t come back with your usual garbage that better public transport would solve the issues I quote. Somebody has to pick up the tab and it would be the taxpayer!

        • Your particular circumstances are not an argument that we should all drive cars everywhere. Almost nobody has to get to work at 4:30.
          And yes, I’ve bundled three children and shopping onto a bus. It’s much easier than a car, not least because the doors are bigger, there’s more space inside, and there’s no faffing about with child seats and so on.
          Better public transport would solve many of the problems affecting us globally and locally.
          Global warming is happening because (in part) of our reliance on motor cars. Using public transport, or cycling or walking, would help.
          Our roads are clogged with cars. More and more of our countryside is taken over to build yet more roads. More and more if our town centres are being knocked down to make car parks.
          If people used bus or train, there would no longer be an issue.
          As more people use cars instead of public transport, bus and train services are cut. This affects the old, the young and the infirm … the most vulnerable in society. There are very few bus services in Kent in the evenings or at weekends, and plenty of rural communities have no bus service whatsoever. Shopping malls are built out-of-town. Fine if you’ve got a car, not so good for our High Streets.
          As to picking up the tab: who do you suppose funds the roads you drive on?

          And I managed all that without being rude to anyone.

          • ‘ Almost nobody had to get to work at 4:30 in a morning’ many work shift hours etc! As far as your comment as far as the bus and three children bully for you! As far as being rude my comments are mild compared with some of the nasty comments that appear on here from others but I don’t see you complain about them. Maybe as you are so virtuous you should rename yourself on here St Andrew.

  3. MOD land bought by Tony F sold to Brian Souter, Anne Gloags brother. She bought from him for a pound. Company Infratil were based 50 Lothian Square an offshore leaks address. Her company that took over were also offshore leaks.

    • Infratil is a public limited company quoted on the New Zealand stock exchange who own (among other things) Wellington Airport. Ann Gloag bought Manston from Infratil for £1. She used Lothian Shelf which was a special purpose vehicle (SPV) – just like RSP are doing now. I have no idea what an offshores leaks address is.

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