WA Developments

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W A Developments Holdings Ltd
Privately held company
Industry Property
Founded 1993
Founder William Andrew Tinkler
Headquarters England, United Kingdom
Key people
Andrew Tinkler, Founder
William Stobart, Director
Products Property Development, Property Investment
Subsidiaries W. A. Developments (International) Ltd.
WADI Properties Ltd.
Stobart Air Holdings Ltd.

W A Developments Holdings Ltd (also WA Developments and WADI) is the private investment holding company owned by Andrew Tinkler, the chief executive officer of Stobart Group.


The original company[edit]

WA Developments was founded on 25 May 1993 by William Andrew Tinkler as WA Tinkler Building Contractors in Appleby-in-Westmorland, with an initial capital investment of £500. The company was involved in civil engineering and railway infrastructure project contracts. The company gained a contract with Railtrack (now Network Rail). The business was incorporated as W. A. Developments Ltd.[1]

William Stobart joins the business[edit]

In 2001, William Andrew Tinkler's school friend and brother-in-law, William Stobart, joined the business as a shareholding director, becoming a business partner with a 27% stake in WA Developments. Due to both of their first names being "William", William Andrew Tinkler became known as Andrew Tinkler to distinguish himself from William Stobart.

Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart are brothers-in-law as they married the Cleasby sisters they met in a pub whilst in their 20s. This means that Andrew Tinkler's children, Laura Tinkler and Adam Tinkler, and William Stobart's children, April Stobart and Edd Stobart, are cousins.

Acquiring Eddie Stobart[edit]

In November 2003, it was announced that a WA Developments subsidiary, W. A. Developments (International) Ltd., would acquire the UK's best known road haulage company, Eddie Stobart Ltd., a company 45% owned by William Stobart, and 55% owned by William Stobart's older brother Edward Stobart. In effect, therefore, William Stobart's stake in Eddie Stobart Ltd. reduced from 45% to 27%. On completion of the acquisition in February 2004, Andrew Tinkler became chairman and William Stobart became managing director of Eddie Stobart Ltd.[2]

Buying Carlisle Airport[edit]

In May 2006, WA Developments acquired Haughey Airports Ltd, the owner of the 150-year lease of Carlisle Airport, from Edward Haughey and renamed it Stobart Air Ltd, through a subsidiary called Stobart Air Holdings. The Airport was re-branded Carlisle Lake District Airport, and plans to develop the airport were announced.

Listing Eddie Stobart on the Stock Exchange[edit]

Following the need for further investment in Eddie Stobart Ltd., WA Developments appointed Royal Bank of Scotland to discuss its options in 2007. French rival Norbert Dentressangle said it would be interested in buying Eddie Stobart, but Andrew Tinkler preferred external investment, without a complete sale. The solution, announced on 15 August 2007, was to merge Eddie Stobart with the publicly listed property and ports company Westbury Property Fund, and to list Eddie Stobart on the London Stock Exchange as the Stobart Group.

The deal was structured so that W. A. Developments (International) Ltd. would sell the ultimate Eddie Stobart logistics holding company, Stobart Holdings, to the Westbury Property Fund for £137.7 million: £62 million in cash and £76 million in new Westbury Property Fund shares. The Westbury Property Fund would then rename itself as the Stobart Group. The shares were split along the lines of the WA Developments ownership, so Andrew Tinkler would own 20% and William Stobart would own 8.5% of the enlarged Stobart Group, becoming chief executive officer and chief operating officer respectively.

In return, WA Developments would buy most of the Westbury Property Fund's commercial property portfolio, Westbury Properties Ltd., through another subsidiary called WADI Properties Ltd, for £142.1 million in cash. The plan would be to sell the commercial property portfolio at a profit over the next two years.[3][4][5]

Selling WA Developments assets to the Stobart Group[edit]

On 10 March 2008, Stobart Group announced that it would be buying the original W. A. Developments Ltd. civil engineering and railway infrastructure business from WA Developments for £10 million in cash.

Stobart Group also entered into a £50,000 option to acquire Carlisle Lake District Airport from Stobart Air Holdings for £15 million (£2.5 million in cash and £12.5 million in new Stobart Group shares). This option was extended in July 2008 until January 2009 for a further £50,000.[6]

In January 2009, Stobart Group exercised its option to acquire Carlisle Lake District Airport from Stobart Air Holdings for £14 million (£1 million less than originally announced). Following an independent shareholder vote, the acquisition was completed in May 2009, and the purchase price was reduced to £9.9 million due to a fall in the value of Stobart Group shares.

Due to a fall in property values during 2007–2011, Stobart Group announced an option to buy back Westbury Properties Ltd. from WADI Properties Ltd. expiring on 15 August 2011, as some of its properties, owned by a Westbury Properties Ltd. subsidiary, Moneypenny Ltd., were used by the Stobart Group for its operations.[7]

Current business interests[edit]

Current WA Developments business interests include Mothercare franchises in Ukraine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PLC Board | Our Directors | About". Stobart Group. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Eddie Stobart sells up". BBC News. 15 October 2003. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Business | Eddie Stobart to list its shares". BBC News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Eddie Stobart trucks along with reverse takeover of Westbury Property". London: Telegraph. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Russell, Jonathan (19 August 2007). "Eddie goes loco". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Stobart Group is to buy James Irlam & Sons – 3/10/2008". Road Transport. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Fletcher, Richard (27 April 2011). "Stobart investors need some answers on proposed property buy-back". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 

External links[edit]