Haulage magnate Edward Stobart, who helped build up the Eddie Stobart lorry empire and ran it for more than 30 years, filed for bankruptcy with debts of £220,000 just months before his death.
The late Mr Stobart, of Fosse Way, Warwickshire, petitioned his own bankruptcy in July 2010 due to mounting pressure from creditors.
Less than a year later he died in hospital on March 31, 2011, after suffering heart problems, aged 56.
Insolvency practitioner RSM Tenon was appointed to look into the bankruptcy which was dealt with by Warwick County Court.
An RSM Tenon spokesman said: “Known creditors have claims amounting to around £220,000. No material assets have yet been recovered. The investigations are ongoing.”
A spokesman for the Insolvency Service said: “Once an order has been made, the Insolvency Service looks into the financial affairs of all bankrupts and depending on case loads it may be passed on to an insolvency practitioner.”
Any assets will go to paying off creditors and if anything remains after then this will go to the executors of his will.
Although the exact cause of death was not revealed Mr Stobart’s death was a result of heart problems.
Although Mr Stobart was no longer involved with the Stobart Group business, he was the managing director of Eddie Stobart Ltd for more than 30 years.
The business was started by his father, Eddie, in the 1950s as an agricultural business in Cumbria.
Eddie Stobart Sr is now in his 80s. But it was the third of his four children – always called Edward to distinguish him from his father – who developed the fleet, after taking over the transport side in 1976 at the age of 21.
The success of the company is evidenced by the frequent sight of Stobart vehicles trundling up and down British and European motorways.
Edward is credited with creating the iconic brand before the company was sold to his brother William, who continues the family involvement as chief operating officer, and business partner Andrew Tinkler, in 2004.
Stobart previously had many of the spoils that go with business success – a Ferrari and a huge house built at the firm’s headquarters in Carlisle – but before he retired from the business he admitted that work was his real hobby: “I don’t really do much else – I did have a speedboat, but I sold it.”
When the company was sold he moved to the Midlands and took over a firm which built lorry trailers, but that failed in 2009.
Edward Stobart and his first wife, Sylvia, had four adopted children. He also had two children by his second wife, Mandy.
The Stobart Group declined to comment, adding that it was a ‘‘private matter’’.