Eddie Stobart shareholders have voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of a proposal from asset management firm DBAY Advisors to take control of the troubled haulier.

In a statement issued after an extraordinary general meeting held in London this morning, the Eddie Stobart board said it would be seeking to complete the transaction “as soon as possible”.

The vote means that DBAY Advisors will take a 51 per cent stake in the Cumbrian-born company and provide a £55 million high interest loan to keep it on the road.

DBAY had warned shareholders that it could go bust if they do not vote through their proposal – which involves parachuting in William Stobart, son of the company’s founder, to lead the company’s festive turnaround.

The vote appears to have ended the rival approach from high-profile county businessman Andrew Tinkler, who dramatically re-entered the race last week pledging to inject £80m of equity funding and restore Eddie Stobart to its former glory through his company TVFB.

The future of the company – which has a depot at Lillyhall – has hanging in the balance, as it struggles with debts of £155m and the fall-out from a £2m accounting error that resulted in its shares on the junior AIM stock exchange being suspended in August.

And Eddie Stobart’s lenders, Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas and KBC, who are owed a combined £200m relating to breaches of its credit facility, have also demanded swift action with a waiver deadline, secured by Eddie Stobart bosses, of December 13.

While voting figures are yet to be published, Eddie Stobart said shareholders had voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal.

Commenting on the announcement, Sébastien Desreumaux, chief executive of Eddie Stobart said: “The Proposed Transaction provides Eddie Stobart with the opportunity to move forward and look to deliver sustainable growth and profitability from a stable footing. Our main priority and focus is now continuing to deliver the high levels of services expected by our customers as we move into the busy Christmas period.”

Isle of Man based DBAY indirectly owned Eddie Stobart between 2014 and 2017. A long-term investor in the company, it has built up a 27 per cent stake in the company ahead of the shareholder vote.

A DBAY spokesperson said: “We would like to thank shareholders for supporting our transaction which will bring immediate stability to the Business. Eddie Stobart’s loyal staff are the best in the industry and we are pleased to be able to provide certainty over their jobs throughout the Christmas period and beyond.  

“We would also like to thank the lenders to the Company for their flexibility which will be invaluable in returning Eddie Stobart to a stable footing. 

“Finally, our thanks go to the supportive customers who have continued to trust Eddie Stobart and its brand, and the suppliers who have continued to trade with it.” 

More to follow.