By Scott Wright

BUS giant National Express has asserted its view that its proposed merger with Stagecoach represents “superior value creation opportunity” compared with bid tabled for the Scottish company by DWS, the German infrastructure specialist.

National Express and Stagecoach agreed terms on an all-share merger worth £1.9 billion in December last year. However, the deal then looked to have been scuppered when the Stagecoach board accepted a cash offer from DWS that valued the Perth-based transport company at £565 million.

National Express responded in March when it declared that the DWS offer “materially undervalues” Stagecoach.

In a first-quarter trading update yesterday, which revealed that revenue in the first three months of the year had been restored to 2019 levels, National Express said: “We continue to believe that our proposed combination with Stagecoach, with at least £45 million of run-rate synergies, represents a superior value creation opportunity to the DWS offer. However, we will remain disciplined in the assessment of our options going forward.”