National Express nears Elliott truce

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The Independent Online

The transport operator National Express, which last week put on a show of strength with news of rising profits amid calls by its biggest shareholder for strategic changes, is close to striking a deal with the dissenting investor before its annual meeting tomorrow.

The truce with Elliott Advisors, the US hedge fund which owns about 18 per cent of the bus, train and coach company, could be agreed as early as today.

Last Thursday, National Express reported a 30 per cent rise in normalised pre-tax profits for the first quarter of the year. It has already made overtures to the hedge fund by putting Chris Muntwyler, who is one of Elliott's nominees for a non-executive job at the FTSE 250-listed company, on a six-strong shortlist for a place on its board. He previously ran the UK arm of courier firm DHL.