No fireworks at National Express AGM

NATIONAL Express averted a shareholder showdown at its annual meeting after sealing an 11th-hour truce with its activist investor yesterday.

Elliott Advisors, the group’s largest shareholder, accepted a one-year restraint on activism while former DHL UK chief executive Chris Muntwyler will join the board.

National Express chief executive Dean Finch looked relieved as he spoke to shareholders after the meeting, describing Elliott’s campaign as a “distraction”, City A.M. was told.

Discussion of Elliott’s activism was muted at the meeting, while Elliott representative Dominic Dolinetz voted and left before it began.

But Elliott’s actions have impeded National Express’ search for new non-executives, City A.M. understands, as leading candidates including a US nominee expressed unwillingness to commit to a company in conflict with its shareholders.