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Stobart: Outcome never in doubt as Woodford and Tinkler are left licking their wounds

By Cynical Bear | Sunday 8 July 2018

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Further to my “Exclusive” on Friday in which I predicted the outcome of the Stobart (STOB) Boardroom battle, the results finally came out yesterday more than 24 hours after the AGM began confirming that Tinkler and his gang had lost; however, it is worth considering what happens next as I doubt very much that this is the end of it.

By all accounts, Friday’s AGM was a feisty affair with Andrew Tinkler, having flown in on his private jet, endeavouring to throw his weight about a bit, metaphorically of course. Unfortunately for him, when the votes were finally counted, it came out that just over 51% of the shareholders voted for the current Chairman, Iain Ferguson, to stay in his role, defeating the rebels and avoiding a mass resignation of other Board members.

Quite amusingly, apparently Tinkler also won his vote to get re-elected to the Board by 51% but then was promptly dismissed from the Board by the other directors. That game could go on for some time!

If one were an average private Stobart shareholder, one would probably now be hoping that this could now all be put behind the company and that it could now re-focus on the business. Even if that did happen though, one would expect that perhaps one or more of the losing shareholders might sell down some of their shares so I wouldn’t be buying shares just yet.

However, with all the litigation between the parties still to be resolved, and it being such a close result, it all feels a bit Brexit-esque and I would be surprised if this was the last we saw of Mr Tinkler and his ambitions. In addition, in the short-term, there is still an EGM in a couple of weeks at which Philip Day could be elected to the Board.

My view is that I doubt Andrew Tinkler will take this lying down and will carry on the fight but I wonder whether Neil Woodford or Philip Day will have a quiet word and suggest that now might be the right time to put the greater good of Stobart ahead of any personal ambitions. What am I thinking? I mean to say I wonder whether Philip Day will have a quiet word with his “mate” and suggest he keeps his remaining powder dry for now.

The reality is that this is still a mess and it will take some time for normality to be resolved at Stobart and the share price will probably be impacted in the short-term as a result. Happy with how it’s all turned out, Neil?

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