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Shareholder given more time over bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics

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WARRINGTON based Eddie Stobart Logistics Plc’s third largest shareholder DBAY Advisors Limited, has been granted an extension to make a firm takeover offer for the troubled haulage company.

With talks ongoing, the UK takeover panel has given Isle of Man based DBAY an extension on yesterday’s deadline until October 16, either to make a buyout bid or walk away.

The news came weeks after Eddie Stobart said it received a “highly preliminary” expression of interest from TVFC Ltd, a company controlled by Stobart Group’s (STOB.L) former boss Andrew Tinkler.

Eddie Stobart was a unit of Stobart Group until 2014 and is now its second biggest shareholder with an 11.8% stake. DBAY holds about 10.7%.

TVFC also has until October 16 to make a bid, according to UK takeover rules.

The takeover bids followed the shock announcement in August that Stobart had suspended trading in its shares, was delaying publication of its first-half accounts and was parting company, with immediate effect, with its chief executive, Alex Laffey.

The company, which is bidding to build a new National Distribution centre on Greenb Belt land at Appleton Thorn, revealed a £2 million error in its 2018 results, issued a profits warning and said a review of past accounts was being carried out.

The take over developments have fueled speculation locally that there could be implications for the firm’s ambitions to expand on the land opposite its existing headquarters.

Warrington Borough Council has approved the company’s second planning application, despite strenuous local opposition, but the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State.

Meanwhile an appeal by Eddie Stobart over refusal of their first planning permission for a National Distribution Centre on Green Belt land at Appleton Thorn is scheduled to take place at Warrington Town Hall on October 15.

The council bought Stobart’s existing headquarters for £26.1 million last year in a deal which is expected to see the company pay the council around £1.2 million a year in rent. Town Hall chiefs say they have “no concerns” about Stobart’s future commitments as a result of the suspension of share trading.

Stobart operates 2,700 vehicles and 5,000 trailers and employs about 6,600 staff. The business had a market value of £270 million when trading in its shares was halted.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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