It was reported at the weekend that Neil Woodford’s funds' previous holding in AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) was sold at just 6p per share – as against the 70p suspension price. That should give a measure of the trouble Stobart is in, and also a measure of Woodford’s failure here. This morning DBAY updated on its proposals, presumably in response to noises from the competing Tinkler camp, as it tries to take control and rescue the outfit, and Tinkler has responded...
For all his past history at Stobart Group (STOB), having come second in a battle for its boardroom, Andrew Tinkler’s proposed refinancing of Stobart’s former subsidiary and now AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) seems to be gathering momentum. Yesterday it was announced that he already seems to have the proposed £70 million rescue funds in the bag – although the board of Eddie Stobart seems a tad reticent...
Yesterday came bad news for shareholders in AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) in that Wincanton pulled out of making a rescue offer. Today we learn that the former boss of Eddie Stobart Limited is offering an alternative rescue plan to the one from DBAY which would surely leave the existing equity almost worthless. Apparently the Tinkler deal is considerably more advantageous to ESL's shareholders and also its lenders and that his company, TVFB, believes that operating margins and growth as per the levels when Tinkler stepped down as CEO can be restored. So that’s alright then!
Eddie Stobart Holdings (ESL) still sees its shares suspended as the company can still not get its half year accounts bottomed out and published but a rescue plan today may well see the shares slung off AIM and the nature of the mega high interest loan injection makes it clear the equity is almost worthless. Well done Neil – this was a major holding in the Income Focus and Equity Income Funds.
A media leak has forced Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) to admit that it has received a tentative refinancing proposal and it is one that suggests an 80%+ wipeout for shareholders, notably lucky holders of funds formerly managed by disgraced Neil Woodford.
Shares in AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) remain suspended pending interim results and financial clarification, but that has not stopped a third potential bidder – Wincanton (WIN) – entering the fray. Eddie Stobart now has three potential suitors – DBAY, which was involved in its original demerger from Stobart Group (STOB), and an outfit headed by Andrew Tinkler – who was sacked by Stobart Group after a messy campaign to remove its then chairman, and Wincanton which now has twenty-eight days to decide whether to make an offer. So is this all good news?
Neil Woodford, the largest shareholder in AIM-listed, but suspended pending interim accounts and one assumes by now financial clarification, Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) must be sweating as he wonders what his near-23% stake will be worth. Interims to 31st May 2019 are still pending, now a month and a half late and two interested bidders have emerged in the form of DBAY Advisers and Andrew Tinkler, the former CEO (before he was ousted) of Stobart Group (STOB).
The old stockmarket adage that delayed news is always bad news held true this morning when AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) updated the market on its accounting review and the lack of interim results – which are still not ready. It is all bad news – and very bad news for Neil Woodford who holds about 23% of the equity: the dividend has been scrapped and we had the announcement of what amounts to a strategic review. Of course, strategic reviews are themselves a red flag of more bad news to come. It is grim.
AIM-listed Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) was spun out of Stobart Group (STOB) is, of course, a Woodford Dog – Neil holds about 23% of the stock. When the shares were suspended last month in the wake of an accounting scandal because the interims would be delayed, we were told that the numbers would appear in early September. Well, they haven’t appeared and the next opportunity for release falls on Monday – the sixteenth of the month. According to my maths, that will therefore be the second half of September. Where are the numbers?
Looking through the accounts of AIM-listed Eddie Stobart (ESL) to establish who the possible bidder is, in the wake of the company's suspension from trading on AIM on late accounts and an accounting scandal, something caught my eye. The FY17 accounts note a £475,000 interest-free related party loan to directors of a subsidiary company!
Early this year we showed the Shorted AIM shares at the start of 2019. How's the performance at the end of August? (those in bold remain from 2018)...
We missed this one. we cannot spot every car crash waiting to happen. But we did give an alert of sorts. Week in week out, Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) featured in Steve Moore's table of the most shorted AIM shares. When bears hunt in packs, like this, they are rarely wrong, especially when the biggest cheerleader on the other side are Bulletin Board Morons or, as in this case, Neil Woodford. So what were the red flags? There were three big ones:
It never rains when it pours for Neil Woodford. This morning we were told that his investment into the breaking of the laws of physics has been revalued downwards and at 7.30am we learnt that shares in AIM-listed Eddie Stobart (ESL) have been suspended, the accounts will be late, the dividend is under review (ie going to be chopped) and the CEO has walked (ie been pushed). This is all in relation to an audit review. Apart from that everything is fine…..oh, apart from the profit warning – and dear old Neil's funds holds 22.89% of the company, as at 2 August worth, at last night's close, £62 million. Oh Dear.
From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, the following shows the shorted AIM shares with positions from 2017 and thus far in 2018 (by net short position %) - and if this position has increased (red), reduced (green) or remained unchanged (black) since last week...
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