Stobart Group Plc - STOB
The Stobart Group plc (LSE: STOB) is a large British multimodal logistics company, with operations in the United Kingdom and across Europe. The group had its origins in the iconic British road haulier Eddie Stobart Ltd, started by 'Steady' Eddie Stobart. The haulage operation continues within the group as the Eddie Stobart warehousing and distribution division, whose distinctive trucks operate throughout Europe, travelling as far as Kiev in Ukraine. The expanded group also contains the Stobart Rail division, which handles rail freight and railway infrastructure projects in the UK and operated the short lived Stobart Pullman charter train, the Stobart Ports division, operating a land port and sea port in northern England, and a property and developments division, Stobart Developments. The Stobart Air division operates London Southend Airport purchased on 2 December 2008, and Carlisle Airport.
From beginnings in agriculture and then as a road haulage company, the company has expanded into rail and air transport, as well as logistics management and warehousing. After growth of a high profile image through distinctive and individually named trucks, the group attracted an 'Eddie spotting' fan base, and subsequently developed an official fan club, and a merchandising operation selling Eddie Stobart branded goods. The brand has been expanded into sponsorship, particularly the Stobart Motorsport operation.
Started by 'Steady' Eddie Stobart in the 1950s as an agricultural business in Cumbria, the company was incorporated as Eddie Stobart Ltd in the 1970s as a haulage firm, eventually passing to his son, Edward Stobart. After a series of complex takeovers, the Stobart company has developed from a haulage company to an intermodal logistics company, achieving a stock market listing without an IPO through a reverse takeover of the Westbury Property Fund. Following the step down of Edward in 2003, the Stobart family is now represented in the business through Edward's brother William Stobart. In 2005, and again in 2007, Eddie Stobart was recognised as a UK Superbrand by Superbrands Ltd. The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.