Wincanton (WIN) is exploring a potential merger with fellow logistics company Eddie Stobart (ESL). Both companies confirmed that Wincanton has been given access to Eddie Stobart’s accounts to conduct its due diligence process, but there is no certainty that a formal offer will be made. Wincanton has until 15 November to announce a firm intention to make an offer, while asset manager Dbay Advisors, its third largest shareholder, has 10 days to make its offer official.
What Wincanton finds in Eddie Stobart’s accounts will surely be intriguing. The latter’s shares have been suspended at 71p since 23 August after a review of the company’s accounting practices prompted the immediate departure of former chief executive Alex Laffey. Since then, it has issued a warning that operating profits for 2019 were likely to be “significantly below the board’s expectations” and that the dividend would be scrapped.