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National Express (NEX)

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Wednesday 31 May, 2000

National Express


National Express Group PLC
31 May 2000

                          NATIONAL EXPRESS GROUP PLC
                      £137 million acquisition in the USA

National  Express  is acquiring School Services & Leasing  Inc.  ('SSL'),  the
second largest privately owned student transportation bus company in the  USA,
for  £136.7 million ($205 million ) in cash.  The acquisition will  be  funded
through existing bank facilities.  The transaction is scheduled to complete on
31st  August, 2000, following receipt of Surface Transportation Board consent.
The  acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing  before  the
amortisation of goodwill.

Proforma results for SSL for the year ended 31st December, 1999 show EBITDA of
£17.5  million  ($26.3 million) and operating profit of £11.5  million  ($17.3
million)  on turnover of £66.7 million ($100 million).  Audited net assets  at
31st July, 1999 were £34.6 million ($51.9 million).

SSL  is based in Kansas City, Kansas.  Established in 1976 with 110 buses,  it
now  has  over 3,100 vehicles, serving over 40 school boards across  8  states
from  New Mexico to Massachusetts.  SSL employs 4,000 people, including  3,600
drivers  and attendants, and 54 million student trips are made on its services
each year.

The  acquisition of SSL consolidates the Group's position as the third largest
student  transportation operator in North America.  The student transportation
division  will now have almost 9,000 vehicles, employ over 10,000  people  and
operate  in 20 states, from California to Connecticut.  SSL's operations  will
be consolidated into the division's existing businesses based in Austin, Texas
reporting to Larry Durham, Chief Executive of National Express' North American

Commenting on the acquisition Larry Durham said:

'The acquisition of SSL opens up important new markets for us and consolidates
our  position  in  the Mid West.  The addition of SSL's team  of  professional
managers  will add greater depth of operational experience and skill  in  that
region.   I  welcome SSL's employees to the Group and look forward to  working
with them to achieve further growth through continuing to provide high quality
transportation services to our customers across North America.'

Phil White, Chief Executive of National Express said:

'The  acquisition  of  SSL  is another important  step  in  consolidating  our
position  in  the North American public transport market.  Together  with  our
public  transit  bus  operations we now have an annualised  turnover  of  £330
million ($500 million) and employ over 16,000 people in the USA.'


For further information, please contact:

Phil White, Chief Executive
William Rollason, Finance Director
Helen McCorry, Group Communications Manager
National Express Group PLC                        020 7529 2000

Nicola Marsden/ Steve Jacobs
Financial Dynamics                                020 7831 3113