The founder of Leeds-based Clipper Logistics is reported to be lining up a £300m takeover bid to take the company private.

Executive chairman Steve Parkin, who founded the company in 1992 and owns nearly a third of its shares, is understood to be preparing a bid with Florida-based Sun Capital Partners.

He now has until 18 December to announce a firm intention to make an offer for the retail logistics company or withdraw.

Clipper Logistics' non-executive directors are now forming a committee to oversee a formal bid.

Sources suggest the board has become frustrated by the need for City reporting and procedures which have hampered the day-to-day running of the company.

It is understood Clipper Logistics is keen to invest in automation in its warehouses and other areas of the business but the short-term nature of six-monthly reporting and accounting doesn't sit well with long-term investment paybacks.

Parkin is also said to be frustrated at the slide in the company's share price over the past year.

Sources have confirmed that any deal would see the existing board remain in place.

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In a statement, Clipper Logistics said it was now in an “offer period” and the board had appointed a financial adviser.

The statement said: “The board of Clipper Logistics plc notes the press speculation and confirms it has received a preliminary approach from Sun European Partners LLP in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of the company.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.”

The latest set of financial results for Clipper show that for the year ending 30 April 2019, it increased revenue by 15% to £460.2m. Pre-tax profits fell by 5.8% to £16.9m.

Commenting on the results, Parkin said: “Despite the challenging market conditions facing the retail sector, the group has achieved another strong financial performance, growing revenue by 15%.

“We have commenced significant new contracts with high-profile retailers including subsidiary PrettyLittleThing and Sports Direct in the UK, and Mountain Warehouse for whom we have introduced e-fulfilment activities in Europe.”