By Andy Stewart
Stobart Group’s road transport business has been sold to investor Douglasbay Capital in a £280 million deal the Group said will almost completely wipe out its debt.
The agreement will net Stobart Group £195.6 million for the firm, plus shares totalling £44.1 million. In addition, the Group retains rights to the Eddie Stobart brand name and will seconder eight per cent of the truck fleet for use on its biomass business.
The move puts William Stobart, the youngest son of the company’s founder and brother-in-law to Group CEO Andrew Tinkler, in the driving seat of the road transport operation which operates 2500 vehicles and employs 5000 people across the UK. The new venture will be rebranded as Eddie Stobart Logistics.
Stobart Group said it will keep hold of a 49 per cent stake in the business after the sale, but will be turning its attention more fully towards its rail, air and energy enterprises.
“This is a further stage in delivering our strategy of creating and realising value for our shareholders,” Tinkler said. “Moving forward, we are focused on capitalising on the opportunities in our Infrastructure and Support Services Divisions, enhanced by investment in Stobart Green Energy.”
William Stobart added: “I really welcome this investment from DBAY and look forward to heading up the new partnership as CEO. DBAY have a strong track record of working with existing management teams within businesses, as they will do with us, to help drive growth.
“We already have an extremely loyal customer base who we look forward to continuing to work with. It is an exciting time for us to grow this business and I am looking forward to this next stage and the opportunities it will bring for our employees and customers.”