UK Bus Operators Plan Merger As Covid Hits Demand

(@FahadShabbir)

UK bus operators plan merger as Covid hits demand

London, Sept 21 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Sep, 2021 ) :British bus operator National Express, whose operations stretch as far afield as North America, and rival Stagecoach announced merger plans Tuesday, with the pandemic-hit firms looking to slash costs.

Under a proposed all-share deal, National Express would own 75 percent of the new group and Stagecoach the remainder, the pair said in a statement.

"The boards of National Express and Stagecoach believe that the potential combination would be a strategically compelling proposition with significant growth and cost synergies, as well as delivering strong value creation for both sets of shareholders," it added.

National Express said it has identified pre-tax cost synergies of at least 35 million ($48 million, 41 million Euros).

National Express has bus and coach networks across the UK and runs services abroad, including school buses in North America.

It operates also a rail franchise in Germany, while UK-focused Stagecoach is one of Britain's largest bus and coach operators.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said "it comes as little surprise that rivals National Express and Stagecoach are... considering getting together to try and shoulder the recovery".

"The working-from-home revolution is still likely to be a drag on revenues going forward, with commuters likely to travel less in the future," she added.