June 2, 2014 / 11:20 AM / 5 years ago

Canada's TransForce to buy truckload transport company

(Reuters) - Canadian trucking company TransForce Inc said it would buy truckload transport and logistics company Transport America Inc for $310 million, including debt, from private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Inc.

Transport America’s network includes 12 terminals in the United States. The company operates about 1,500 tractors and about 4,400 trailers through its own fleet and independent contractors.

Transport America had filed with U.S. regulators in December to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol “TRAM.” The initial public offering is expected to raise about $75 million.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

Transport America reported total operating revenue of $347.5 million in 2013, down more than 4 percent from 2012. The company’s net profit, however, surged 80 percent to about $7 million in the period.

“This acquisition will immediately provide TransForce with a critical mass in the highly-fragmented truck load sector in the United States ... “ TransForce Chief Executive Alain Bedard said in a statement.

TransForce said the deal, which was expected to close by the end of this month, would be immediately accretive to earnings.

The new business will retain the Transport America brand name, the company said.

The purchase price includes $150 million of Transport America’s debt.

RBC Capital Markets is TransForce’s financial adviser for the deal, while Bank of Americas is advising Transport America.

TransForce shares closed at C$23.70 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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