TransForce to buy Transport America for $310 mln


Transforce Inc. (TSE:TFI) (OTCMKTS:TFIFF), a Canadian trucking and delivery company, said it will buy Transport America Inc. for $310 million including debt.

The deal with private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Inc. is expected to close by the end of this month and will be immediately accretive to earnings, Montreal, Quebec-based Transforce said in a statement today.

"Transport America is an efficient, well-managed company that generates solid operating margins," Transforce Chief Executive Officer Alain Bedard said in the statement. "We expect this transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings and to provide a sound return on investment to the benefit of our shareholders."

The new business will retain the Transport America brand name, the company said. The purchase price includes $150 million of Transport America's debt.

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.

Transforce, which has operations throughout Canada and in the United States, offers package and courier services, trucking services and specialized services including waste management.

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

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.

Shares of Transforce closed up 0.8 percent at $23.70 on May 30, stretching gains in the past 12 months to 18 percent.




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