A private investment group is spending $150 million to take over ownership of freight broker Express-1 Expedited Solutions and installing lead investor Bradley S. Jacobs as the chairman and CEO.
Jacobs, head of Jacobs Private Equity, said he plans “to build a multibillion-dollar transportation brokerage business over the next several years,” with Express-1 as the foundation.
“Express-1 is an ideal platform, with prominent positions in expedited services, freight brokerage and freight forwarding,” he said in a statement.
The $158 million company is the fifth largest expedited carrier in the U.S. and a logistics provider. The company includes expeditor Express-1, freight forwarder Concert Group Logistics and Bounce Logistics.
The move is the second big sale of a freight broker this month, following Geodis Wilson's purchase in early June of One Source Logistics.
The non-asset company business increased its revenue 58 percent in 2010. First quarter revenue rose 31 percent year-over-year to $41.5 million, while net profit jumped 34 percent to $1.1 million.
Jacobs has built billion dollar enterprises before, starting with Amerex Oil Associates in 1979 and Hamilton Resources (UK), an oil trading company in 1987.
In the U.S. he founded United Waste Systems in 1989 and expanded the company through more than 200 acquisitions before selling it for $2.5 billion in 1997.
He co-founded United Rentals and served as chairman until 2007, stepping down before its acquisition. The company’s sales hit $3.7 billion that year.
Jacobs, whose firm will spend $135 million while he provides the rest, is likely to put the same model to work with Express-1, expanding the company by buying other non-asset freight brokers and forwarders.
He will be the majority shareholder in the company. The transaction has been approved by Express-1’s board and must be approved by its shareholders.
Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc