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Haulier Eddie Stobart's shareholder DBAY gets more time to make bid

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(Reuters) – Eddie Stobart Logistics Plc <ESLE.L> said on Monday DBAY Advisors Limited, its third-largest shareholder, has been granted more time to make a firm takeover offer for the haulage company, and that their talks are ongoing.

The UK takeover panel has given DBAY until Oct. 16 either to make a buyout bid or walk away, Eddie Stobart said. DBAY had been required to make an offer by 1600 GMT on Monday.

The news came weeks after Eddie Stobart said it received a “highly preliminary” expression of interest from TVFC Ltd, a company controlled by Stobart Group’s <STOB.L> former boss Andrew Tinkler.

Until 2014 Eddie Stobart was unit of Stobart Group, now its second biggest shareholder with an 11.8% stake. DBAY holds about 10.7%.

TVFC has also until Oct. 16 to make a bid, according to UK takeover rules.

Tinkler was involved in a lengthy legal battle last year with Stobart after he was ousted for alleged breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Eddie Stobart has been hit by a series of bad news, including Chief Executive Alex Laffey’s departure and suspension in trading of its stock in August following a financial review that delayed its half-year results.

The company, whose largest shareholder is troubled fund manager Neil Woodford with 22.9%, had issued a profit warning in July, citing a slowdown in some businesses and a forced exit from a “problematic” contract.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)

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