Friday 6 December 2019 1:07 pm

Eddie Stobart secures £55m Dbay lifeline

Eddie Stobart shareholders today backed a £55m rescue deal from a major investor to save the company’s future.

Under the terms of the deal, Dbay will take control of the company and inject enough money to secure the company’s immediate future over Christmas.

Dbay said: “We would like to thank shareholders for supporting our transaction which will bring immediate stability to the Business. Eddie Stobart’s loyal staff are the best in the industry and we are pleased to be able to provide certainty over their jobs throughout the Christmas period and beyond. 

“We would also like to thank the lenders to the Company for their flexibility which will be invaluable in returning Eddie Stobart to a stable footing.

“Finally, our thanks go to the supportive customers who have continued to trust Eddie Stobart and its brand, and the suppliers who have continued to trade with it.”

Shareholders had to choose between a £55m high-interest loan from former owner Dbay, or an alternative package championed by former chief executive Andrew Tinkler.

Read more: Eddie Stobart facing crucial vote on future tomorrow

Dbay’s offer involves the asset management firm taking a majority 51 per cent stake in the trucking group.

Tinkler’s plan, which he said had the backing of shareholders, takes the form of a £20m bridging loan and a £80m equity raise.

TVFB, Tinkler’s firm, had also floated the idea of delaying Friday’s meeting to allow it to put the loan in place.

The Eddie Stobart board opposed the plan, issuing a statement saying that the firm’s banks were fully behind the Dbay deal and that failure to support it would see the banks push the business into administration.

In a statement, TVFB questioned this, saying: “There is no upcoming liquidity issue within the next week.”

According to reports, Deloitte have been lined up to act as an administrator if the proposal fails.

Dbay currently owns a 27 per cent stake in Eddie Stobart, after buying Neil Woodford’s stake in an off-market deal worth just 6p a share.

Rival trucking firm Wincanton pulled out of a potential bid for Eddie Stobart last week, blaming a lack of concrete financial information.

Read more: Eddie Stobart lines up administrators ahead of crucial vote

Eddie Stobart’s shares were suspended in August after an accounting scandal. It has still not published its interim results.

Due to first half losses of £12m, Eddie Stobart is expecting its debt to stand at £200m by the end of the year.