William Stobart is set to return to Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) if equity firm DBAY Advisors succeeds in its bid to buy the troubled haulier.

Stobart's initial task will be to lead the board in ensuring ESL deliver a "strong performance" over the peak Black Friday and Christmas period.

Rival bidder Andrew Tinkler, former chief executive at Eddie Stobart, is also lining up heavyweight support for his competing £75m offer for the company. Tinkler is reported to have been in discussions with major fund managers M&G and Ruffer.

He has also won the backing of Stobart Group chairman David Shearer who has written to the ESL board urging them to support Tinkler’s bid, according to reports.

In a statement DBAY said it is supporting William Stobart, who was chief executive of Eddie Stobart until 2017, to come back into the business as the executive chairman.

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DBAY added that William Stobart “will be leading the board to work with all stakeholders and ensure a strong performance is delivered over the busy Black Friday and Christmas period. His appointment will be subject to shareholder approval.

Other board members lined up by DBAY include Mike Branigan, former CEO of Transport Development Group (TDG), Geoffrey Bicknell, former TDG chief financial officer and Saki Riffner, former Eddie Stobart chairman and DBAY chief investment officer.

Wincanton has also expressed interest in “combining” with ESL. The logistics firm is currently carrying out due diligence ahead of its deadline of 27 November when it must either make a bid or withdraw its interest.

Wincanton has urged ESL shareholders to disregard DBAY Advisors bid until they have sight of the auditor’s review of ESL’s finances which is currently being carried out by PWC.