Andrew Tinkler became chairman of The Eddie Stobart Group Limited in 2004, when the company he jointly owned with his brother-in-law, William Stobart (and grandson of Eddie), stepped in to rescue the iconic but ailing road haulage business. After a few years of rapid growth, this company merged with one of Mr Tinkler’s companies to form The Stobart Group, and he became chief executive. The intention was “over the medium term, to become the leading multimodal provider of transport and logistics solutions in the UK”.
But growth through acquisition is one thing. Bedding down the acquisitions and managing them for organic growth requires quite different skills. By 2013, it was clear that things weren’t working out. Growth promised after a rights issue the previous year proved less than inspiring, and the share price had fallen by a third over three years, demoting the company from the FTSE 250.