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Thursday 04 August, 2005

National Express

Acquisition

National Express Group PLC
04 August 2005

4th August 2005



                             National Express Group PLC

               National Express Group expands its presence in the

                 Canadian school bus market through acquisition



National Express Group PLC ('the Group'), the third largest operator of school
buses in North America, today announces it has acquired Northstar, the school
bus operation of Contrans Income Fund ('Contrans'), a Canadian freight haulage
company quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange, for a cash consideration of £26
million (C$56 million). The acquisition, which is expected to be earnings
enhancing in the current year, will increase the presence of the Group's
existing student bus operation, Stock Transportation ('Stock') in the Canadian
school bus market.

Northstar operates 800 school buses and has 850 employees. It serves 12 school
boards around Southern Ontario and provides entry into new areas such as Simcoe
County, north of Toronto.

The acquisition of Northstar consolidates the Group's position as the third
largest student transportation operator in North America. The acquisition will
be integrated into Stock Transportation.

Commenting on the acquisition Phil White, Chief Executive, National Express
Group said:

'Following last week's conditional disposal of our Public Transit operations, we
are delighted to announce a further expansion to our existing school bus
operations in North America. The acquisition of Northstar consolidates our
position in Canada and builds on the momentum we have achieved over the past two
years. Northstar has a significant operation in Ontario where we wish to grow
our presence. We welcome the Northstar management team to the Group and look
forward to working with them on developing the enlarged business.'

                                    - ENDS -




For further information:

Adam Walker
Nicola Marsden
National Express Group PLC                           020 7529 2000


Ben Foster/Dido Laurimore
Financial Dynamics                                   020 7831 3113




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange