Cosmen backs Stagecoach

JORGE Cosmen, National Express&rsquo; deputy chairman and largest shareholder, is backing rival Stagecoach in its bid for the ailing transport group.<br /><br />Cosmen, who pulled out of a joint bid with CVC Capital Partners to take over National Express last week, said he would now support an approach from Perth-based Stagecoach.<br /><br />The Scottish company had been set to take over the UK operations of National Express if the consortium&rsquo;s original bid had been successful. <br /><br />Under Takeover Panel rules, Stagecoach needs National Express&rsquo; board backing for a takeover.<br /><br />Meanwhile, National Express said it intends to press on with a discounted rights issue to deal with funding problems. <br /><br />The firm has been a takeover target since the government said it would be stripped of its East Coast rail franchise after it failed to keep up with franchise payments.