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Monday, 06 July 2015

Stobart Group issues bonds to raise cash

Logistics firm Stobart Group is hoping to raise at least £25 million from private investors through the London Stock Exchange’s retail bond market.

The £100 bonds give a 5.5 per cent return on the face value, with capital repayable in 2018.

The offer is expected to remain open until Tuesday.

The minimum investment is £2,000 and the bonds can be bought through stockbrokers.

Ben Whawell, chief financial officer for Stobart, said: “Following a successful UK road show to test market conditions for a retail bond issue, we are very pleased to announce our entry to the market.

“We enter on the back of significant expansion of the group with developments in our air, biomass and estates divisions now delivering results and bringing benefits across the business,” he added.

Corporate bonds are increasingly popular with private investors, given the poor returns on gilts and bank and building society accounts.

The likes of National Grid, Severn Trent and Tesco Bank have all raised money in this way.

They are not without risk, however. Their traded value rises and falls, depending on market conditions, and investors can lose all their money if the bond issuer goes under.

Stobart, which began as an offshoot from an agricultural merchant in Hesket Newmarket, is hoping that its iconic Eddie Stobart haulage brand will appeal to investors.

The group recently reported a fall in underlying pre-tax profits for the half year to August, from £16.4m to £13.2m.

It is still waiting for planning consent to be confirmed for a proposed redevelopment of Carlisle Airport.


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