The Unite union has waded into the battle for control of Eddie Stobart – and piled the pressure on bosses at the troubled logistics firm to cough up crucial financial information to DBAY Advisors’ main rival.

In a hard-hitting attack the union – which represents around 1,000 members employees in driving and warehouse roles – accused Eddie Stobart of acting prematurely on the proposal by DBAY Advisors to acquire 51 per cent of the company and provide a £55 million capital injection.

And, echoing the call from DBAY’s main rival for the company, Wincanton, it demanded Eddie Stobart releases key information on the company’s financial performance, along with the findings of a review being carried out by its auditors.

Unite claimed that “other major logistics companies are understood to be interested in the purchase of Eddie Stobart, but their bids are being hampered by a lack of financial disclosure by the company”.

And it accused the company of shutting up shop by refusing to meet with union officials, who are seeking reassurances over jobs and Eddie Stobart’s long-term future.

Isle of Man-based DBAY Advisors are currently in the driving seat to grasp control of Eddie Stobart, with shareholders set to vote on its bid at a general meeting on December 6.

DBAY Advisors has revealed its plan to parachute William Stobart – the fourth child of Eddie Stobart, who founded the company in the 1940s – into a top role to boost the company’s financial performance over the busy festive period, should investors accept its proposal and take the remaining 49 per cent.

Meanwhile, Wincanton, one of the UK’s largest hauliers, has until Wednesday (November 27) to submit its own bid for the company or walk away.

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.

Without it neither Eddie Stobart bosses or shareholders “can make an informed decision on the value of any possible transaction”, it has said.

Frank Robinson, chair of Unite National Combine, echoed the sentiment.

“Unite appreciates that an offer has been made for a majority shareholding by DBAY that includes an immediate investment of £55m, however we are also aware that there are other interested parties that may be considering an offer for the company,” he said.

“Unite members believe that the board has acted prematurely in signing an agreement with DBAY before any other party has been provided with the financial information to formulate its potential offer.”

Unite’s national officer Adrian Jones, said Eddie Stobart workers had become “a pawn in a game being played by financiers in the shady world of venture capitalism”.

“Unite members are extremely concerned that the boardroom games being played by Eddie Stobart which are putting our members’ jobs at significant risk – as well as endangering the transport supply chain for many major companies,” he added.

Eddie Stobart customers include Tesco, Pepsi Co, Nestle, Cooperative, Argos, Coca Cola, Crown Cork & Seal, SCA, Unilever, Britvic, AG Barr, Dobbies, BSW Timber, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson and Heineken.

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

And its deal pins big hopes on William Stobart boosting its performance during the Black Friday and Christmas period.

Mr Stobart would be among a number of big hitting appointments to Greenwhitestar – a subsidiary which holds all of the trading entities within the Eddie Stobart group – and become executive chairman.

Eddie Stobart’s future appears to be hinging on a new deal.

It 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.

Since then, it has also warned that its losses for the first half of 2019 could be higher than £12m.

Eddie Stobart was spun out of Stobart Group in 2014 and, while it is now headquartered in Warrington, it still has a depot at Lillyhall in West Cumbria.