October 16, 2019 / 5:16 PM / a month ago

Haulier Eddie Stobart says buyout talks with DBAY continue, Tinkler drops out

FILE PHOTO: Lorries arrive at the Port of Dover during a trial of how road will cope in case of a "no-deal" Brexit, Kent, Britain January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

(Reuters) - Eddie Stobart (ESLE.L) said on Wednesday DBAY Advisors, its second-largest shareholder, was granted more time to make a firm takeover offer for the haulage company, but former group boss Andrew Tinkler had abandoned any buyout interest.

The UK takeover panel has given DBAY until Oct. 28 either to make a buyout bid or walk away, Eddie Stobart said. DBAY had been required to make an offer by 1600 GMT on Wednesday.

Eddie Stobart said last month it had received a “highly preliminary” expression of interest from TVFB Ltd, a firm controlled by Stobart Group’s (STOB.L) ousted chief Tinkler.

The company said on Wednesday it had not had a proposal from TVFB regarding a buyout offer and the Tinkler-controlled firm had told Eddie Stobart it would not be making a bid.

Tinkler was involved in a lengthy legal battle last year with Stobart after he was sacked for alleged breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Until 2014 Eddie Stobart was unit of Stobart Group, now its biggest shareholder with an 11.8% stake. DBAY holds about 10.7%.

The company’s largest shareholder was troubled fund manager Neil Woodford with 22.9% before the stake was dissolved on Tuesday after his flagship fund was shut down.

Eddie Stobart has been hit by a series of bad news, including Chief Executive Alex Laffey’s departure and suspension in trading of its stock in August following a financial review that delayed its half-year results.

It issued a profit warning in July, citing a slowdown in some businesses and a forced exit from a “problematic” contract.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans

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