Stobart Group, which owns 12.5 per cent of Eddie Stobart Logistics, is facing a boardroom battle, after former chief executive Andrew Tinkler decided to opposed the re-election of chairman Iain Ferguson at the annual meeting on 28th June.
Tinkler, who owns 7.7 per cent of the voting rights, is backed by two other shareholders who together own 25.5 per cent of the voting rights.
In a statement, the board of Stobart Group accused Tinkler of destabilising the group and urged shareholders to support the re-election of Ferguson as chairman.
It said the board “has been forced to address a number of challenges posed by Mr Tinkler in the recent past, including:
– settlement of contractual issues arising from a previous related party transaction when Mr Tinkler was CEO;
– a proposed selective buyback of part of his stake in the Company;
– a proposed additional ex-gratia bonus for him of shares then worth some £8m;
– a proposed buy-out of the Company when the share price was in the range of 100p to 120p;
– a proposed related party transaction associated with the recent aborted airline transaction.”
Since the divestment of the bulk of its stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics, Stobart Group has focused on its aviation, energy and infrastructure businesses. Andrew Tinkler stepped down as chief executive last year to create a new business, Stobart Capital, which operates independently of the group. He remains a director of the Stobart Group.
Stobart Group chief executive Warwick Brady said: “Stobart Group now has a clear and focused strategy to drive growth in our core operating divisions to double the value of the business by 2022. The strategy was co-created between Andrew Tinkler and myself. I have been very clear that the Stobart Group needs a stable board and management team to support the execution of this plan, underpinned by strong and effective corporate governance.
“On my appointment as CEO, as part of working with Andrew Tinkler, we all agreed that Iain Ferguson would remain in his role through to 2020, and our strategy for the growth of the business was unanimously validated by the Board. It’s in the interest of the shareholders’ that we continue to have stable leadership across the business and the ability to deliver our ambitions, as was the case when Andrew Tinkler was CEO.”