Bradley S. Jacobs is closing in on a goal he set when he took over XPO Logistics last year — raising the company’s revenue run rate to $500 million by 2013.
“We’re within spitting distance,” he said Thursday, after acquiring Turbo Logistics, a $125 million company. “I’m optimistic we’ll get to that run rate by Christmas.”
XPO Logistics acquired Turbo from OHL, formerly Ozburn Hessey Logistics, for $50 million. Turbo is the third company acquired by Jacobs and XPO this year.
In August, XPO acquired Kelron Logistics, a $100 million Canadian business. In May, XPO purchased Continental Freight Services, Columbia, S.C., a $22 million company.
Turbo is the biggest logistics deal closed yet by Jacobs, who in May said he expected to acquire freight brokers worth a combined $250 million in revenue in 2012.
As of Oct. 26, he is just about $3 million short of that goal. “This gets us real close to the $500 million run rate we targeted for year’s end,” Jacobs said, noting that the books aren’t closed on 2012 yet.
XPO last month gained $120.3 million in net proceeds from the sale of senior convertible notes and may use those funds to finance further acquisitions.
XPO’s expansion is part of a broader reshaping of the transportation and logistics market, with larger, well-capitalized companies shopping for smaller firms.
Jacobs became chairman and CEO of XPO in September 2011 when he and his partners invested $150 million in the company, then Express-1 Expedited Solutions.
His goal is to transform XPO Logistics — a $177 million company last year — into a multibillion-dollar enterprise through both acquisition and organic growth.
The entrepreneur and investor used similar strategies in the 1990s to build United Waste System and United Rentals into multibillion-dollar businesses.
Starting with an initial investment of $3 million in 1989, Jacobs built United Waste System into a $2.2 billion company, completing more than 200 acquisitions.
He sold United Waste System in 1997 and co-founded United Rentals. By the time Jacobs stepped down as chairman in 2007, the company had $3.7 billion in revenue.
“We feel pretty good about where we are with XPO after one year,” Jacobs said. In addition to three acquisitions, XPO opened 12 “cold start” branch offices in 2012.
In March, the company opened its North American Operations Center in Charlotte, N.C., after winning more than $3 million in incentives from North Carolina.
“We’ve made great strides in developing proprietary training programs and cutting edge technology” needed to quickly integrate new acquisitions, Jacobs said.
Most of those acquisitions are going to be in the truck freight brokerage market, where Jacobs sees opportunity to expand the company’s footprint quickly.
In addition to its brokerage operations, XPO offers freight forwarding services and operates one of the largest U.S. expedited transportation companies, Express-1.