Former Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler said the Stobart Group is supportive of his proposal to save struggling haulier Eddie Stobart, despite the bad blood between the pair.
Tinkler told City A.M. that he was putting together a £50m package to save the business and said existing shareholders could raise up to £25m on top of that.
“Shareholders do take my offer seriously, and even Stobart Group has supported me on this transaction. They see what I am trying to do is preserve value for shareholders,” he said.
Tinkler was the former chief executive of Stobart Group, which sold trucking business Eddie Stobart to Douglas Bay Capital Fund (Dbay) in 2014, but still retains a shareholding in the haulier.
Tinkler stepped down as boss of Stobart in 2017- and then fought a bitter battle to eject its board and regather the reins of the company.
The campaign ultimately ended in defeat and was followed by a bruising High Court showdown.
Tinkler said that he was able to work with the company’s leadership, despite the past animosity.
“We put that stuff behind us,” he said. “What happened, happened. The new chairman [David Shearer] respects what I am trying to achieve and supports my solution.”
Stobart Group declined to comment.
On Friday, Eddie Stobart recommended an offer from Dbay to inject £55m into the business in exchange for a 51 per cent stake.
The deal would need to be approved by shareholders at a meeting on 2 December.
Dbay’s cash injection would carry an 18 per cent rate of interest if the deal went through.
Tinkler said: “I haven’t talked to any shareholders yet that feel this deal is in their best interests.”
Sources close to Dbay said: “Dbay are the second largest shareholder – if Tinkler has a proposal he should make it. Eddie Stobart has been seeking funding and Dbay has been proactive and worked hard to make a proposal – so far it is the only one. At this his point in time all that matters to Dbay is saving the company to ensure seamless service over the Christmas period for customers and preserve jobs.”
On Friday, Eddie Stobart said it is likely to run out of cash by the end of December and could go bust if it does not receive support from its lenders or it is able to find further funding.
The company’s shares were suspended in August after an accounting scandal. It has still not published its interim results.
Rival, Wincanton, has also expressed an interest in a takeover of the company, but said it is unable to proceed without a better understanding of the haulier’s accounts.
On Friday, Wincaton said that without the release of the company’s accounts, “neither it, nor Eddie Stobart’s shareholders, can make an informed decision on the value of any possible transaction.”
Eddie Stobart declined to comment.