Trucking company Stobart has suffered a 1% fall in its share price after a recent stock market announcement concerning a property deal. Shares in the firm, owners of the iconic green and white Eddie Stobart lorries which are such a common sight on Britain’s roads, are down almost 1.5p at 121.1p after bosses revealed that the company plans to make some major property acquisitions in the coming weeks.
Stobart is planning to pay almost £101 million, which includes £88 million of debt, to WADI Properties for a series of residential, commercial and industrial properties around the UK. The transaction has to be cleared by shareholders as the owners of WADI properties are Stobart’s own chief executive Andrew Tinkler and the company’s chief operating officer William Stobart. An independent real estate agent valued the properties acquired by Stobart in the deal at almost £99 million.
Stobart first announced the deal almost a year ago, meaning any shareholders with a problem have had ten months to register their disapproval. However, a special meeting has to be held before the deal can go through, and if there are enough shareholders opposed to the purchase then Stobart will have to abandon its planned acquisitions.
Tinkler and Stobart have sold assets to the parent company on a previous occasion with no problems from shareholders; the duo sold Carlisle airport to Stobart two years ago, adding to the company’s existing aviation interests in Southend. Southend Airport is due to reopen later this month, with the first Easyjet flights from the new destination taking off in April.
Investment expert Jonathan Jackson, of stockbroking firm Killik & Co, said that while the market was naturally suspicious of any deals which companies agreed with internal figures, Stobart has spent a great deal of time on the due diligence process to ensure that everything is above board.
He added that the deal also ensures that all of Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart’s external business ventures are now under the control of the larger Stobart group.