Arkansas Best rejected an offer by YRC Worldwide, its largest unionized less-than-truckload rival, to purchase either ABF Freight System or the entire company.
YRC Worldwide confirmed today that it made “a preliminary proposal to acquire Arkansas Best.” Arkansas Best said it rejected that proposal in April.
“Our board and management believed then and believes now that the combination of Arkansas Best and YRCW would be in the best interests of all employees, customers and shareholders of both companies,” YRC Worldwide CEO James Welch said. YRC is the largest LTL trucking employer, and ABF the third largest.
In a federal filing, Arkansas Best said it “advised YRC that ABF was highly focused on its ongoing labor negotiations as well as other strategic and operational initiatives and that considering a transaction with YRC was not appropriate at this time.”
After months of tough talks, ABF and the Teamsters union reached a tentative five-year labor agreement May 3 that must be approved by ABF’s Teamsters employees.
In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Arkansas Best said YRC was interested in its struggling LTL subsidiary ABF. YRC in its statement said its proposal was for Arkansas Best, which also includes Panther Expedited Services.