A rescue deal for Eddie Stobart that would see its founder’s son drive the troubled haulier’s turnaround is to go to a shareholder vote next month.

A general meeting of Eddie Stobart shareholders is to take place on Friday, December 6, to consider international asset management firm DBAY Advisors’ bid to take a 51 per cent stake in the company and provide a £55 million capital injection.

Isle of Man-based DBAY Advisors have outlined their plans to revive the fortunes of the Cumbrian-born logistics giant, which has warned that losses for the first half of 2019 could surpass £12m.

And it will place William Stobart firmly in the driving seat in an effort to boost the company’s financial performance over the busy festive period, should investors accept its proposal.

Mr Stobart, the fourth child of Eddie Stobart, who founded the company in the 1940s, will be parachuted into the role of executive chairman of Greenwhitestar – a subsidiary which holds all of the trading entities within the Eddie Stobart group.

It would represent what many would see as a romantic return to the business for Mr Stobart – who served as executive chairman of Eddie Stobart Logistics Limited until 2017 – during its hour of need.

The Eddie Stobart board has agreed to the deal and is now urging shareholders, who would be left with the remaining 49 per cent of the company, to vote it through.

DBAY – a long-term investor in Eddie Stobart which already holds a 10 per cent stake in the company – said: “Given the difficult circumstances, our proposal is a realistic chance to secure value for all shareholders and safeguard jobs for Eddie Stobart’s employees.

“Our team has delivered this sort of turnaround before and it is vital that significant action is taken to rescue the company before the busy Christmas trading period.

On Mr Stobart’s role, it added: “William’s focus will be leading the board to work with all stakeholders and ensure a strong performance is delivered over the busy ‘Black Friday’ and Christmas period.”

Eddie Stobart is currently looking to restructure its £155 million debts and its auditor’s undertaking a review after bosses came across a £2m accounting error. The error saw shares in Eddie Stobart, which trades on the junior AIM stock exchange, suspended at 70p.

However, Wincanton, one of the UK's largest hauliers, may throw a spanner in the works by launching a bid of its own for Eddie Stobart.

It has been given until November 27 to either “put up or shut up” on a bid.

And it has pressed Eddie Stobart shareholders to sit tight on the DBAY Advisors deal until they have had have received “critical” information on the company’s underlying profitability, balance sheet, cash flow, and its short- and medium-term capital requirements, as part of its own due diligence process.

In a statement, published just a few hours after the Eddie Stobart and DBAY Advisors announced it had shaken hands, Wincanton said: “There is still no visibility on when Eddie Stobart's auditor's review may be complete and in the absence of such information Wincanton believes neither it, nor Eddie Stobart's shareholders, can make an informed decision on the value of any possible transaction.

“Wincanton is confident that any potential proposal made by the Company to the Board of Eddie Stobart would be attractive to all of Wincanton and Eddie Stobart's stakeholders and that a combination of the two businesses would be more compelling to Eddie Stobart shareholders than the proposal announced by Eddie Stobart and DBAY Advisors Limited.”

The general meeting of shareholders will take place in London.

As well as voting on the DBAY Advisors deal, shareholders will also be asked to grant Eddie Stobart directors “authority to allot and issue new shares up to a maximum aggregate nominal value of £75m”.

It also remains to be seen whether high-profile Cumbrian businessman Andrew Tinkler will reignite his interest in Eddie Stobart.

His company, TVFB (3) Limited, entered the race to buy Eddie Stobart in September, but last month backed away when it issued a “No Intention to Bid Statement”.

Mr Tinkler did, however, leave in place a number of conditions that could see him emerge again, including if a firm offer was made for Eddie Stobart.

However, The Cumberland News understands that his interest has cooled.