Road haulage company Eddie Stobart has sealed what amounts to an asset swap with the Westbury Property Fund.

Westbury is paying £138m for Eddie Stobart, while the haulage company's principal shareholders, Andrew Tinkler and William Stobart, son of founder Eddie, are buying a significant proportion of Westbury’s property portfolio for a privately owned independent business.

The new company, trading as Stobart Group, will operate as a transport and logistics business.Tinkler will serve as the company's chief executive.

Westbury will retain a big shed at Weston Port in Runcorn, and will pay £23m for a rail-connected freight-handling business nearby.

Stobart Group plans to regenerate Weston Port and improve its links to the Manchester Ship Canal. A new container handling facility should enable it to handle 1m tonnes of freight through the unit.