Eddie Stobart has said that a major shareholder has made a £55 million bid to take majority ownership.

The trucking and logistics firm confirmed that Douglas Bay Capital Fund (DBAY) submitted the offer to "provide necessary liquidity" in exchange for a 51% stake.

Eddie Stobart said it was considering the proposal which would see its existing shareholders left with 49% ownership of the business.

DBAY previously owned a majority stake in the listed firm, holding a 51% stake until its public listing in 2017.

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Figures for October revealed that the private equity group held an 11% stake in the Carlisle-based business.

The haulage business has been at the centre of acquisition interest for a number of months, with DBAY first making an approach for the company in September.

Subsequently, former Stobart Group boss Andrew Tinkler said he was interested in a bid for the business before walking away weeks after.

Logistics giant Wincanton was the most recent to emerge as a possible bidder for the company and still has until November 15 to make an offer or abandon the move.

Littlewoods and Very.co.uk group Shop Direct has secured a £75 million equity injection from owners, the billionaire Barclay brothers, as it looks to cover a hefty payment protection insurance bill.

The group's auditors warned last month Shop Direct could collapse unless it secured an extra £150 million in funding to meet soaring costs of payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims.

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Shop Direct said its owners had pledged the full £150 million, with £75 million set to be pumped in by the end of November.
But it said that while the remaining £75 million is "fully committed", it will look at alternative sources for the second tranche of funding.

It said: "We are continuing to work with our financial advisers to evaluate alternative financing options for the £75 million that will initially remain undrawn.

"The group has no near-term liquidity requirements and is keen to ensure that it has fully explored its financing alternatives to ensure that the best terms are achieved."

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry has revealed widened half-year losses as fewer shoppers visited its UK stores amid tough high street trading.

Shares in the group tumbled 6% as it said British high street sales were impacted, with prices under pressure amid an increasingly promotional market.

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The Somerset-headquartered firm said the UK woes, together with higher investment costs for international expansion, pushed it to a £9.9 million pre-tax loss for the six months to September 28.

This compares with losses of £8.2 million a year earlier.
UK sales dropped 4%, with wholesale revenues tumbling 51% as it focused more on "direct to consumer" sales, while retail rose 3% to £41.6 million.

Retail was boosted by a stronger online performance, while high street trade was knocked by lower footfall in stores.
Mulberry said: "Trading conditions remained challenging with subdued demand from domestic UK customers and an increasingly promotion-led market.

"Performance in this market significantly affected the group's results during the period."

However, it forecast a better second half.