National Express shares plunge after Elliott halves its holding

 
Marion Dakers
NATIONAL Express shares plunged 11.1 per cent yesterday to 204.5p, below the discounted price at which biggest shareholder Elliott Advisors sold off half of its holding for £106m yesterday.

Activist investor Elliott yesterday placed almost 50.6m shares with institutional investors at 210p each through Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The firm said it was selling some of its holding to help diversify its portfolio, but that National Express remains one of its most important investments.

Elliott, which attempted to oust the National Express board in 2011 but has since been supportive of management after extracting concessions, has agreed to keep its remaining shares for at least 90 days.

But the secondary placing came in at an almost nine per cent discount to Wednesday’s 230p closing price, spooking investors.