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SHOPPING SEASON: CELADON BUYS YANKE

Those who closely monitor the mergers and acquisitions landscape in Canada’s transportation industry have been quietly grumbling about the lack of activity so far this year. There has been lots of chatter, so to speak, but few deals...


Those who closely monitor the mergers and acquisitions landscape in Canada’s transportation industry have been quietly grumbling about the lack of activity so far this year. There has been lots of chatter, so to speak, but few deals closed in the first three quarters of 2013. The M&A scene erupted in recent weeks, however, starting with the Celadon Canada acquisition of Yanke Group, a story we broke on Trucknews.com Saturday Nov. 16. This is somewhat of a blockbuster. Yanke runs about 300 trucks, and so the deal brings Celadon Canada’s total count to about 800, suddenly making it a real force in Canadian trucking. Sadly, as it turns out, Celadon didn’t see the benefit of maintaining Yanke’s Saskatoon HQ, and a good number of office workers there have been let go.

This transaction brought to mind an interview I had with Steve Russell, the chairman of Celadon, at his Indianapolis office last March. I’ve written before about this interview, so I won’t rehash all the details here. But suffice it to say, it was one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done while covering the Canadian trucking industry. Steve was looking to expand Celadon’s Canadian operations, and happened to have a copy of Truck News on his desk. He opened it up, saw my number and called to see if I’d be interested in writing about Celadon’s ambitious growth strategy for the Canadian market. As luck had it, I was in Indianapolis, attending the Work Truck Show. I hopped in a cab and spent the rest of the afternoon in his office, talking about why the Canadian market is of such interest to Celadon.

Even if you’ve read this article before, I believe it merits another look in light of the acquisitions Celadon has since made in Canada. Basically, everything they said they were going to do, they have done. They’ve bought Hyndman Transport, Hoss Cartage and now the feather in their cap is Yanke. And just like that, Celadon Canada has more than tripled its Canadian capacity, becoming a major player in the Canadian trucking marketplace as well as another prospective buyer among the very few prospective buyers we have here. This is fascinating stuff. Celadon’s Canadian growth is also great news for International Trucks. Celadon is a loyal International customer and maintains a remarkably young fleet of ProStar tractors, averaging just 1.6 years. Their continued growth could give International a shot in the arm.


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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