Extension plea for NatEx bid

The Spanish-led consortium bidding for British bus and rail operator National Express is expected to seek a third extension to the formal offer deadline for its £765m bid, according to a source close to the group. Britain’s Takeover Panel had already delayed the deadline by three weeks until 16 October following a request from Spain’s Cosmen family – the biggest shareholder in National Express with a 17 per cent stake – and its buyout partner CVC Capital Partners.