Posted 15th July 2020 | 1 Comment

Stobart leaves rail to concentrate on air in £1,000 sale

STOBART GROUP has sold its rail and and civils division to a German company for just £1,000, although up to £2.9 million more may be payable, depending on the outcome of one contract which is still in progress.

Stobart will now concentrate on aviation and energy infrastructure. The company had been expected to shed the loss-making rail and civils business, having said that it intended to do so by the spring of next year. The agreement includes the transfer of specialist plant and equipment, and there will also be a three-month ‘Transitional Services Agreement’ to keep administrative functions going to support Stobart Rail and Civils temporarily.

The transaction will involve an estimated loss of £9 million after costs, before any additional payments which may be received, and 188 jobs will be transferred. The buyer, Bavaria Industries Group, is an industrial holdings company which was founded in Germany in 2002.

It specialises in rescuing companies which are unprofitable by cutting their costs, developing new sources of revenue and preserving as many jobs as possible.

Stobart Group chief executive, Warwick Brady, said: ‘In June we set out our strategy which will see the group focus its investment on our aviation assets, particularly London Southend Airport. The sale of the Rail & Civils business removes the obligation for the group to fund the expected ongoing losses of the rail business and is a first step in achieving our goal of focusing our investment on aviation.’

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  • david c smith, Bletchley

    A hope , I think, was that Stobart would pioneer road - rail intermodal / bimodal freight service in GB, with its experience in running one of our premier road haulage companies.

    Container trains between major ports and inland centres have generally been a success in GB but inland movements , including via the Chunnel , not so succesfull. A bimodal system that was instituted in the early 1990's was "Charterail", which only seemed to be short - lived , due to excessive charging for traction by BR. In order to have run, it must have cleared the loading guage.

    This didn't need expensive lifting equipment, and could take normal , unreinforced semitrailers. To clear the loading guages would require semitrailers to be of quite compact dimensions , something that would be no problem with relatively dense goods. With a proportion of warehouses and factories that are designed to deal with semitrailers rather than ISO containers, might it be useful to look again at this ? There is a French variation ,"Modalohr"that is already at work on the Continent.