TransForce jumps after winning bid to buy Vitran


TransForce Inc. (TSE:TFI), a Canadian trucking and logistics company, advanced to a fresh high after winning a bidding battle for its peer Vitran Corp. (TSE:VTN). 

Shares of Montreal-based TransForce rose 3.1 percent to C$25.68 at 12:53 p.m. in Toronto, after reaching C$25.88. Vitran, on the other hand, fell 3.5 percent to C$6.88.  

TransForce said in a statement today that it has agreed to acquire all the share of Toronto-based Vitran it doesn’t already own at $6.50 a share, or about $107 million. 

The total value of the deal at $136 million, including US$29 million of debt that will be assumed by TransForce. TransForce said today that it currently owns approximately 20 percent of Vitran shares and has an agreement to buy an additional 2.6 percent from a unit of Clarke Inc. (TSE:CKI).

Vitran has terminated an agreement it had entered into with Manitoulin Transport, which had offered $6 a share. The Manitoulin deal was valued at $128 million, including $29 million of assumed debt. Manitoulin will receive a $4 million termination fee under the terms of its white-knight agreement with Vitran.

"We are delighted to have reached agreement with Vitran for what represents the acquisition of an important strategic asset for TransForce with considerable synergistic benefits in the near term and into the future," TransForce Chief Executive Officer Alain Bedard said in the statement.

"We are looking forward to leveraging the strengths of both companies to enhance our service offering for our customers and welcoming the Vitran employees to the TransForce team."

TransForce has been stalking Vitran since September when it made an initial unsolicited offer of $4.50 per Vitran share.



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