ESL shocked investors last month when it asked for its AIM-listed shares to be suspended after it failed to publish its half-year results in time.
CEO Alex Laffey also stepped down with immediate effect and will be replaced “in due course” by Sebastien Desreumaux, currently CEO of iForce and head of Contract Logistics at Eddie Stobart
Private equity investor Dbay Advisors, which is based in the Isle of Man, is understood to have made “a preliminary expression of interest” in ESL, although it said there was no certainty an offer would be made.
The bid could offer a boost to ESL’s biggest investor, fund manager Neil Woodford, which holds a 23% stake in the group but whose shares have slumped in recent months.
ESL also admitted last month that it was expecting “significantly lower” earnings this year while interim results are now expected later this month.
Before being floated, Dbay Advisors owned 51% of ESL but is now thought to have a smaller stake.
DBay Advisors now has until 5pm on October 7 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away.
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