Haulage firm Stobart Group has unveiled plans to raise £25 million by launching a bond aimed at retail investors – the first in the sector.
The group said the bond, offered through brokers, will pay a fixed rate of 5.5 per cent a year over a six-year term. The minimum investment is £2,000.
Chief financial officer Ben Whawell told The Scotsman that part of the proceeds will be used to develop Carlisle airport to upgrade the runway and create a 374,000sq ft distribution centre.
Along with its 2,500-strong fleet of Eddie Stobart lorries, the group also owns London Southend airport and recently took on a 70,000sq ft hub at the Eurocentral site next to the A8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Whawell said: “If the bond is successful, and we think it will be, it’s a market we’ll carry on looking at in the future.
“We’ve looked around at other forms of funding so we’re not reliant on banks, which tend to offer pretty short-term borrowing With this bond we’ll have a really good mix of long-term borrowing.”
Other companies to have launched retail bonds in recent months include Tesco Bank and Workspace, the business premises provider, but Stobart’s offering is believed to be the first of its kind from a logistics group.
Whawell said: “Virtually everybody we’ve spoken to has told us that, because of our brand and the type of business we have, it should be very successful.”