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Former Stobart CEO 'expensed horse racing sponsorship, private jets'

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Friday 03 Aug 2018

(Sharecast News) - The former boss of Stobart Group has been accused of spending more than £4.5m on expenses, including helicopters and horse racing sponsorship, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
Andrew Tinkler, who has been in dispute with the company since his sacking in June, allegedly spent £1m on helicopter transport and £600,000 in private jet flights paid by Stobart to companies Tinkler owned.

One invoice for helicopter costs was for £170,000, Stobart alleged.

The corporate soap opera saw Tinkler try unsuccessfully to unseat chairman Iain Ferguson from the board in July.

Stobart is seeking damages and compensation along with a declaration that his dismissal was legal. It also claims he breached his fiduciary duties as a director.

Tinkler wants damages and a court declaration that his dismissal was invalid.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Tinkler spent £1.6m on premium travel between 2015 and 2018. A further £2.9m was claimed for corporate entertainment from late 2014 and to February 2018.

Included were bills for £65,000 and £67,500, from December 2015 and 2016 respectively, which referenced popstar Ronan Keating.

The Boyzone singer took to social media in July to say "absolutely disgraceful what they are saying about our friend Andrew Tinkler . The company would not be where it is without him".

Keating also helped distribute a letter from Tinkler to shareholders via his Twitter social media account.

Stobart also alleged that last November, Tinkler, fund manager Neil Woodford and Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day plotted to buy 60% of Stobart Group's airline business for £20m as part of a potential takeover of Flybe in a move that would have seen them sell that interest three months later for £40m.

It says the proposal would have benefited Tinkler and other consortium members but was not in the interests of the group or other shareholders. Tinkler denies the claim.

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