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Gloucestershire Business News

National Express to take over Stagecoach

National Express is set to take over bus company Stagecoach - currently experiencing cancelled services in Gloucestershire and elsewhere because of a shortage of drivers.

Stagecoach - which runs local bus services - was badly impacted by Covid and lockdowns.

The company has 8,500 buses nationally and employs some 25,000 people.

It was founded by brother and sister team Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag. The company is valued at £375 million.

National Express - running national coach services that were also impacted by lockdowns - is based in Birmingham and valued at £1.4 billion. It also runs school bus services in America.

Under the deal, Stagecoach shareholders would receive 0.36 new National Express shares for each Stagecoach share, giving National Express a 75% share of the combined group.

The merger would achieve savings of £35 million, with National Express using Stagecoach's well-located depot network.

It would also allow National Express to expand its business, including private hire and corporate travel.

The joint company would aim to maintain strong relationships with key public sector stakeholders, positioning the combined group for the evolving transport landscape, playing a role in delivering government priorities for 'cleaner, greener and more resilient economies'.

Stagecoach chairman Ray O'Toole would become chair of the board of the combined group.

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