Canadian transportation company Vitran is expanding into the Southeastern U.S. by purchasing the $70 million less-than-truckload division of Milan Express.
The acquisition expands Vitran's LTL coverage in a 10-state region stretching across the Midwest from Illinois to Ohio and into the deep South and the Carolinas.
Vitran is the 12th-largest LTL operator in North America ranked by sales, while Milan Express ranks 34th on the JOC's list of top U.S. and Canadian LTL truckers.
Vitran is expected to add 19 of the Milan, Tenn.-based carrier's terminals to its network and merge the other 15 with its own facilities.
Terms of the transaction, expected to close Feb. 19, were not disclosed. The Ross family owns Milan Express, which was founded by Tommy W. Ross in 1969.
The Ross family will keep the company's truckload, logistics and warehousing and distribution operations, which include flatbed, dedicated and regional services.
The acquisition is a key component of Vitran's plan for a regional LTL network serving the entire North American market, said President and CEO Rick Gaetz.
Milan gives Vitran more density in five Central U.S. states and expands it into Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, he said.
"We believe this is a good fit acquisition for Vitran, as it has been looking to expand its footprint in the U.S.," said Stifel Nicolaus trucking analyst David G. Ross.
Vitran's LTL footprint covers all of Canada and 29 states in the Eastern, Central, Southwestern and Western U.S. The acquisition will boost that total to 34.
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