HUB GROUP AGREES TO BUY QUALITY INTERMODAL

HUB GROUP AGREES TO BUY QUALITY INTERMODAL

Hub Group Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire Quality Intermodal Corp. of Houston in the latest signal of continuing consolidation among intermodal marketing companies.

Quality Intermodal is a midsize marketing and brokerage company, with annual sales of approximately $70 million. If the acquisition is completed, it would be the second successful purchase by Hub Group, which purchased American President Distribution Services from APL Ltd. in 1996.Terms were not announced.

Hub Group, whose revenue exceeded $1 billion last year, views the acquisition as a step toward strengthening its presence in Texas markets. The planned purchase comes just days after Hub Group restructured its operations in Texas, where local offices also are responsible for service in Mexico.

Quality Intermodal, with a staff of 80 in 10 operating and sales offices, is a privately held company with four primary shareholders. Fred Beasley is president of Quality, which also has a terminal operations subsidiary in addition to brokerage and intermodal marketing services. ''We are enthusiastic about the addition of Quality's personnel to the Hub family,'' said Phil Yeager, Hub Group's chairman. ''Although there is no guarantee that the acquisition will occur, we hope to sign a definitive agreement in the near future.''

Hub Group also attempted to acquire Richmond Transportation Services, an Illinois firm, in 1995. However, that deal fell through and Richmond later was acquired by Riss Intermodal Co. of Orinda, Calif.