Stobart to raise £120m for growth and restructuring

Warrington, UK: Stobart Group, a British transport specialist, is raising £120m to fund a restructuring and expansion strategy.

The share placing and open offer will be worth about £115m (US$190m after expenses.

If the move receives shareholder approval at a general meeting on May 13, it will herald a new corporate structure of five separate divisions.

The board will also use about £20m to buy the half of the biomass fuels business it currently does not own, while up to £25m will be invested in the group’s two airport developments at Southend and Carlisle.

It proposes to buy the Westbury property portfolio from WADI Properties, which is currently controlled by group chief executive Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart.

A new corporate structure will include a transport and distribution division containing the Eddie Stobart trucking business that makes up to 85% of group turnover; an asset management and properties division; a civil engineering arm; an airports business; and the biomass division.

Chairman Rodney Baker-Bates said: “Stobart has come through a phase of consolidation, following strategic acquisitions made in 2008 and 2009.

“It is now stepping up its organic growth within the core transport and distribution businesses.

“In addition, the company has significant potential value in existing assets which, with the capital being raised through this placing, it is now in a position to unlock.”

Chief executive Andrew Tinkler says: “We are now a diverse company with risk and returns spread across a number of sectors.

“The new funding will give us the firepower to invest in those businesses which have the greatest potential, particularly Stobart.

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