The acquisition follows a spate of recent deals involving Stobart's automotive business, as well as BCA, which was bought earlier this year for £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) by a consortium of investors, Haversham Holdings, which is led by Avril Palmer-Baunack. Palmer-Baunack is a former head of both Eddie Stobart and Autologic, the original carrier that Stobart purchased in 2012 for £12.4m.
Stobart Automotive is one of the UK’s leading providers of transport services and operates a fleet of approximately 450 vehicle transporters across its network of sites. BCA, meanwhile, handles the sale of 12,000 remarketed vehicles a week in physical auctions and over the internet. It is part of BCA Europe, which is the region’s largest vehicle remarketing company, and reports an annual turnover of more than £4 billion.
The companies have declined to comment further on the deal, including on current business overlaps. However, sources familiar with the businesses said that neither Stobart Automotive nor Autologic have had involvement in moving vehicles for the auction market, which could suggest the possibility that the trucking fleet will in part be allocated to move vehicles sold at auctions and online.
Eddie Stobart Logistics was formed in March last year when Stobart Group’s former chief operating officer (COO) William Stobart and asset management firm DBAY bought 51% of Stobart Group’s core transport and distribution business for almost £240m ($401m). Stobart Group retained the remaining 49% share.
The transport and distribution business included the entirety of the group's transport, storage and handling services. Operating from 50 sites in the UK and Europe, the group's multimodal offering includes road transport, rail freight, air operations and port services.
The company had already been selling various parts of the automotive business that formerly comprised Autologic. In 2013, Stobart Group sold Stobart Vehicle Services, which handled car preparation, customisation and port operations, to Paragon Group.That move was followed by Stobart Group’s sale of its enclosed finished vehicle carrier business – Enable – to UK-based transport and logistics provider Acumen Automotive Logistics, in December 2014.
Avril Palmer-Baunack, the former head of Autologic who moved to Stobart when it bought Autologic, temporarily replaced Rodney Baker-Bates as chairman of Stobart Group for a short time following the sale of Stobart Vehicle Services. However, she resigned from the role two months later. She is now executive chairman of Haversham Holdings. In March this year, Haversham Holdings bought BCA, which is now known as BCA Marketplace.