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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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April 1 sale date for haulier Eddie Stobart

Eddie Stobart could become a private company as early as April 1, following the announcement of a sale of a majority stake in the haulier.

William Stobart photo
William Stobart

Parent company Stobart Group said it was selling 51 per cent of Eddie Stobart to DBAY Advisors, a private-equity investor in the Isle of Man.

Carlisle-based Stobart, which is a stockmarket-listed company, will retain a 49 per cent holding in Eddie Stobart and concentrate on its other interests, which include aviation, warehousing and biomass.

It is holding a shareholders’ general meeting in Guernsey on March 31 to ratify the proposed sale and plans for a £35m share buy back. If shareholders support the move, the sale should go through the following day.

The deal values the stake at £280.8m, of which £195.6m will be paid in cash.

William Stobart, chief operating officer at Stobart Group, will leave to become chief executive of the spin-off business, Eddie Stobart Logistics.

Stobart plans to use the windfall to pay off £100m of debt, invest in its biomass division and fund the share buy back.

Eddie Stobart began in the 1970s as an offshoot of an agricultural contracting business in Hesket Newmarket. It has grown to become the best-known haulage company in the country, with 2,500 trucks, 4,000 trailers and a 20,000-strong fan club.

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