Eddie Stobart: private equity firm bids for 55% stake

Warrington-based Eddie Stobart Logistics Plc said on Wednesday that Isle of Man private equity firm DBAY Advisors, a major shareholder, has submitted a proposal to take a majority stake in the logistics group.

DBAY would inject £55 million of financing into Eddie Stobart’s operations to “provide necessary liquidity” in exchange for a 51% stake in a new entity which will become the holding company for the group’s operations.

Rival Wincanton, the UK’s largest logistics group, said in October it is also mulling a possible offer for Eddie Stobart.

Wincanton said on Wednesday it “continues to perform due diligence on the merits of a potential combination with Eddie Stobart Logistics plc … however there can be no certainty any offer will be made.”

Trading in Eddie Stobart shares has been frozen since August, when the logistics company had a stock market value of around £268 million.

In a stock exchange statement, Eddie Stobart said: “The board of Eddie Stobart Logistics plc notes the press speculation and confirms that it has received a proposal from DouglasBay Capital III Fund LP (a fund managed by DBAY Advisors Limited to acquire a controlling interest in the group’s operations.

“Under the terms of the proposal, the fund would acquire (directly or indirectly) a 51 per cent stake in a new entity which will become the holding company for the group’s operations (“Holdco”).

“The company’s existing shareholders would have (via their shareholding in the company) a 49 per cent interest in the Holdco.

“As part of the proposal, the fund would (directly or indirectly) inject approximately £55m of financing into the group’s operations through a PIK loan instrument, which will be used to provide necessary liquidity.

“The board of Eddie Stobart is considering the proposal together with its advisers.

“There can be no certainty that any binding transaction on the basis of the proposal or other offer for the company will be forthcoming.

“Any agreed proposal would be subject to approval of the company’s shareholders at a general meeting.  

“A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”