Xpediator's mamagement looks set to accept an acquisition bid from a consortium led by the company's founder Stephen Blyth, who resigned from Xpediator earlier this year.
In a statement released today, the company said that it was "minded" to recommend the bid - for an undisclosed sum - to its shareholders.
The consortium led by Blyth also includes Justas Versnickas, managing director and 20% shareholder in Xpediator's Delamode Baltics, which is part of Xpediator's road freight subsidiary Delamode Logistics International.
The bid also has the backing of private equity firm Baltcap and the support of Xpediator's two largest independent shareholders, Shaun Godfrey and Sandu Grigore, who have indicated their willingness to accept the offer, which will be in cash.
Despite its latest annual results to 31 December 2021, showing revenue rising in the period by 34% to a record £296.6m and adjusted pre-tax profit up 25% to £9.1m (2020: £7.2m), Xpediator's shares have dropped by a quarter during the last 12 months, leaving the AIM-listed group with a market capitalisation of £43m.
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In a statement today confirming the bid, Xpediator said that whilst the board "remains confident in the company's prospects as a stand-alone listed business" it is "minded to recommend" the offer from the consortium, which it said is currently carrying out "well advanced" due diligence ahead of any firm offer.
The consortium has until 5p.m. on 17 January 2023 to announce whether or not it intends to make an offer.
Analysts believe the company's fortunes have not been helped by its low margin model in a market experiencing rising inflation.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, commented: "The company would probably argue its operations have survived a pandemic and it is continuing to go places, yet the market seems to have been put off by its status as a very low margin business in an inflationary environment – qualities which many investors do not like at present.”
The company's management structure has also undergone a series of changes. In November last year chief executive CEO Rob Ross quit the company, followed in March by non-executive chairman Mark Whiteling and deputy chairman and founder Stephen Blyth.
In June former Xpediator chief financial officer Richard Myson returned to his former post. Myson was CFO at the company between 2016 and 2018, overseeing its IPO. Xpediator has yet to appoint a permanent CEO.