Sunday, March 9, 2014

UK's Best Known Road Haulage Outfit Sold to Clear Debt

Eddie Stobart Name Retained as Truck Business Changes Hands
Shipping News Feature

UK – After we wrote last year of how the Stobart Group needed to rationalise its business structure following a profit warning, the Company’s Board of Directors has announced that it is to sell the majority stake of its road haulage business, Eddie Stobart Logistics, to holding company DBay Advisors, in a deal worth approximately £280 million. The result of this transaction will leave Stobart with 49% of Eddie Stobart Logistics but crucially, able to reduce its debt. Iain Ferguson, Chairman of Stobart said:

"This transaction represents an important step in the realisation of value for Shareholders. We have found a strong partner to take Eddie Stobart Logistics to the next stage of its development, increasing the scope of the powerful 'Eddie Stobart' brand and allowing the Group to focus on its Infrastructure and Support Services Divisions. These proposals allow us to repay debt, make a return of capital to shareholders, stimulate the growth of our Biomass business and bring the Group's businesses together in a coherent, medium-term value creation plan."

The Stobart Group has undergone the most radical changes since the company’s distinctive and personalised trucks helped make the brand the best recognised of British hauliers. When trucking group joined up with the Westbury property group the direction switched to include rail freight interests and airport ownership, with Southend Airport quickly becoming a model for the revival of local airports.

Lately the Stobart name has even been associated with legal services after the controversial privatisation of legal aid proposals were put forward. After continuing to expand the haulage side with acquisitions such as that of James Irlam in 2008 the diversion into other areas after the agreement with Westbury seems now to have reached a tipping point. Full details of the sale of assets can be seen HERE and it is noticeable that the reformed Stobart Group is to retain that iconic Eddie Stobart brand.