The ousted former chief of Stobart Group, Andrew Tinkler, is said to be gearing up for a raid on struggling haulage firm Eddie Stobart Logistics.
Tinkler has reportedly told advisers to the firm that he is interested in taking part in a refinancing of the firm, which could include making an offer for it.
The move would see Tinkler return to a company that he ran for 10 years until 2014, which was previously part of the wider Stobart Group.
It would also tee up a battle between Tinkler’s vehicle and funds managed by DBAY Advisors, which has also said it is interested in bidding for Eddie Stobart, and bought 51 per cent of the firm from Tinkler five years ago.
Sky News reports he has requested access to materials required to conduct due diligence on the company.
Eddie Stobart’s shares were suspended and its chief executive removed after errors were found in previous financial statements.
Earlier this week, the firm said it anticipated profits for the year to be below the board’s predictions, adding that it was looking into a number of strategies including an equity-raise to remedy the situation. It also said it would get rid of its final dividend.
Sources told Sky News it was conceivable Tinkler would look to take part in a capital-raising that would give him a significant stake in the firm, but would not require him to make a formal takeover bid.
Last year, Tinkler was thwarted in a bruising boardroom battle over Stobart Group. He had tried to kick then-chairman Iain Ferguson out of his post and install billionaire retail magnate Philip Day instead.
Tinkler, who Stobart accused of leading an unlawful conspiracy against the company, was narrowly defeated in a shareholders’ vote.
Then, in February this year, Stobart claimed another victory in a separate case, after the High Court found Tinkler had acted in breach of his fiduciary duties during his campaign to oust Ferguson.
But the judge also ruled that Stobart had not managed to establish its claim against Tinkler that he had launched an unlawful conspiracy to topple its board. The judge also found that Stobart’s dismissal of Tinkler was lawful.