DWS Infrastructure, the German investment giant, has taken a big step forward in its quest to acquire Stagecoach by snapping up nearly £100 million of shares in the Scottish bus giant, writes Scott Wright.

The infrastructure specialist has acquired around 16.99 per cent of the issued ordinary share capital in Stagecoach, excluding treasury shares, from Threadneedle Asset Management for £98.4 million. This came with the purchase of 93,720,491 shares from Threadneedle at a price of 105 per share.

Added to the irrevocable undertaking given by co-founder Dame AnnGloag to vote in favour of DWS’s 105p per share offer for Stagecoach, it means the suitor effectively speaks for 27.45% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital (excluding treasury shares).

READ MORE: Scott Wright: What will twist in Stagecoach takeover saga mean for Scotland?

DWS is in pole position to acquire Stagecoach after its offer, which values the business at around £565 million, was accepted earlier this month. This looks set to trump a proposed all-share merger with National Express, though the bus giant has not ruled itself out of the running.

A spokesperson for DWS said last night that its offer “provides a significant cash premium and certainty to Stagecoach investors as well as benefits to other stakeholders including greater certainty for employees and access to capital to invest in services and deliver on Stagecoach’s existing strategy to transition to a net-zero future.”