Stobart To Take Transport And Distribution Business Private

UK haulage company Stobart announced last week that it would sell a little more than half its core transport and distribution business for £240m excluding debt to a group led by William Stobart, chief operating officer, and backed by DouglasBay Capital, an asset management company.

The Cumbria-based company, which became famous for its fleet of green long-distance lorries, has suffered through management and corporate issues recently including  last April when Avril Palmer-Baunack, executive chairwoman, was ousted in a boardroom coup after three months in the role.

Stobart said it would sell 51 per cent of Eddie Stobart Logistics, the holding company of the transport and distribution division. The deal values the business being sold at £281m including £196m of cash, £44.1m in shares and £41.1m in debt.

Eddie Stobart Logistics made earnings before interest and tax of £25.6m in the year to February 28 2013 on revenue of £476m.

Stobart said the cash proceeds of the sale would be used to fund a £55m investment in Stobart Green Energy, its biomass business, fund a share buyback of £35m over the next 12 months and repay £100m of debt. Stobart’s market capitalisation is £510m.

Stobart, whose clients include Tesco, easyJet and Aer Lingus Regional, said it would retain the remaining 49 per cent stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics.

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