NatEx bidders need more time

National Express is this week expected to give the Cosmen-CVC consortium a further two weeks to complete the due diligence required for it to secure loans for its £765m bid for the transport group. The consortium is said to have requested the deadline extension after NatEx complained about its tactics in gathering data, including offering staff financial incentives to provide industry insight. The due diligence reports are necessary before the consortium’s lending banks will sanction the expected £1bn to £1.2bn of debt financing required. The current “put up or shut up” deadline is due to expire on Friday.