Wincanton has urged shareholders in Eddie Stobart Logistics to “take no immediate action” on a proposal from DouglasBay Capital (DBAY) – after Eddie Stobart said it had entered a conditional sale and purchase agreement for a 51 per cent stake in the company.
The 3PL also said that Eddie Stobart owed it to all stakeholders to “prioritise urgent financial disclosure by its auditor to enable an informed decision on the value of any possible transaction”.
Earlier today (15 November) Eddie Stobart chief executive Sébastien Desreumaux said of the offer by DBAY, which also includes a £55 million of new financing through a payment-in-kind (PIK) facility, would provide Eddie Stobart with the opportunity to “move forward and look to deliver sustainable growth and profitability from a stable footing”.
Desreumaux said: “We are undertaking a thorough review of the operations and, whilst this has highlighted a number of short-to-medium term challenges which the team and I are working determinedly to resolve, it has also reaffirmed my view that the company, and its extensive operational capabilities and unique network, is anchored by strong underlying fundamentals with significant potential for the future.
“During the course of the year we have secured a number of customer wins and extensions, and in particular I am pleased to announce that our contract with Tesco has recently been renewed for a further 12 months up to March 2021.”
However, Wincanton said that there is “still no visibility on when Eddie Stobart’s auditor’s review may be complete and in the absence of such information Wincanton believes neither it, nor Eddie Stobart’s shareholders, can make an informed decision on the value of any possible transaction”.
In a statement to investors Wincanton said it was confident that any potential proposal made by the company to the board of Eddie Stobart would be attractive to all of Wincanton and Eddie Stobart’s stakeholders and that a combination of the two businesses would be more compelling to Eddie Stobart shareholders than the proposal announced by Eddie Stobart and DBAY.
As such, it said, Wincanton urges Eddie Stobart’s shareholders to take no immediate action in relation to the DBAY proposal, and requests that Eddie Stobart and its auditor prioritise the release of critical financial disclosure.
It also said that there can be no certainty any offer will be made by Wincanton, nor as to the terms of any such offer, and a further update will be provided in due course.
It has until 5pm on 27 November to make an offer or withdraw its interest.
Trading in Stobart shares were suspended in August.
By Christopher Walton