DWS publishes Stagecoach offer giving shareholders until 21 May to accept
German asset manager DWS published today its final offer to Stagecoach, giving the company’s shareholders until 21 May to accept it.
Stagecoach said the £594.9m cash offer will offer investors a 54.3 per cent premium on the bus company’s closing price on 20 September, as well as 37.2 per cent increase on the closing price of 76.55p on 8 March.
“In deciding to unanimously recommend the offer, the Stagecoach directors consider that the value, certainty and timing advantage of the all-cash offer provides a more attractive proposition for Stagecoach Shareholders than the National Express offer,” Stagecoach’s board of directors said in a message to shareholders.
According to the board, DWS’s offer gives investors “increased value certainty” due to a shorter completion timetable and lower execution risks.
The two-month period given to investors to accept the offer could perhaps offer National Express – who had initially struck a deal with Stagecoach before DWS’s appearance – the possibility to ramp up its proposal.
National Express said last week a merger between the two companies could unlock dividends higher than those offered by DWS, City A.M. reported.
According to National Express, a merger could see share value go up to 170p per Stagecoach share – a 66 per cent premium on DWS’s 105p.
The Birmingham-based giant said that joining the two companies would create the UK’s leading multi-modal transport provider, as it would expand across urban areas, combining the two companies’ capabilities in a “best of both worlds” approach.