One of the UK's largest hauliers is considering a bid to take over logistics firm Eddie Stobart.

According to reports, Wincanton confirmed it was carrying out due diligence at the firm, which has a base in Lillyhall, near Workington.

Potential investors are circling Eddie Stobart, which is looking to restructure its £155m debts.

Wincanton, based in Wiltshire, is the latest to throw its hat in the ring.

Last month, Andrew Tinkler's company TVFB (3) Ltd was said to be interested in taking over Eddie Stobart, but yesterday revealed it had pulled out of the race.

TVFB had been given a put up or shut up (PUSU) deadline 5pm on Wednesday to make a move.

But instead it made a No Intention to Bid Statement under Rule 2.8 of the Takeover Code.

However, former Stobart Group chief executive Mr Tinkler's company has reserved the right to set aside No Intention to Bid Statement restrictions under a number of circumstances.

Isle of Man-based DBAY Advisors made a preliminary expression of interest in the road haulage business in early September.

Eddie Stobart said it had extended the PUSU deadline for a third time, with DBAY Advisors now having until 5pm on October 28 to signal its intention after approval from the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

DBAY Advisors already has a 10 per cent stake in Eddie Stobart.

It has been involved with Eddie Stobart for several years, including its flotation in 2017 in which Carlisle-headquartered Stobart Group – which owns Carlisle Lake District Airport – reduced its stake in the haulage firm.

Any deal would need to be voted through by Eddie Stobart shareholders.

The Eddie Stobart brand is synonymous with the county, despite being headquartered in Warrington.The company was started by Eddie Stobart in Cumbria in the 1940s and was spun out of Stobart Group in 2014.

Stobart Group’s stake now stands at 11.8 per cent and it continues to receive royalties from Eddie Stobart Logistics to use the Stobart name.