A pair of Preston professional firms have played a key role in the deal which has taken haulage giants Eddie Stobart on to the London Stock Exchange. Solicitors Brabners Chaffe Street and corporate financiers Dow Schofield Watts were both involved in the reverse flotation, which saw the Carlisle-based group taken over in a £138m deal.

Property and logistics business Westbury Property Fund, which is listed on the stock exchange, completed the buy-out and the enlarged company will be renamed the Stobart Group.

Corporate partner John Boydell, of Brabners’ office on Chapel Street, Preston, and Dow Schofield Watts’ Craig Richardson, of the firm’s office on Marsh Lane in the city, advised shareholders of Cheshire-based logistics group O’Connors on its £27m sale to the new group.

The deal was a key part of the reverse take-over of the iconic haulage firm, famous for its 900-strong truck fleet, which was completed on Wednesday.Mr Boydell said: “The transaction was extremely complex as it was one of a series of three transactions, the others being a £142m sale and acquisition of a property portfolio and the merger of Eddie Stobart with listed property company, Westbury Property Fund.”

He added that O’Connors would retain its name and management infrastructure as part of the deal, which would open opportunities for it to ‘contribute to the development’ of Westbury’s companies in the region.

Mr Richardson added: “O’Connors will become part of a large, successful, quoted public company which should offer opportunities for employees, customers and suppliers alike.

“It will enable the group to offer fully integrated transport and logistics solutions incorporating road haulage, rail freight and waterborne transport systems.”

The reverse takeover will see the Stobart Group take control of the trucks and storage business, previously operated under the Eddie Stobart name, and Westbury’s port and development site operations in Runcorn, Merseyside and its rail terminal in Widnes, Cheshire.

Source: Business News – Preston Today

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