M&A

Manitoulin acquires Direct Right

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Manitoulin Transport has acquired Direct Right Cartage -- an intermodal provider based in Brampton, Ontario – marking the fleet's seventh acquisition in 12 months. “This purchase enables Manitoulin to provide a higher level of service and frequency of intermodal service within Canada. We will continue to look for opportunities such as this to build our services and coverage to ensure our offerings meet our customers’ evolving needs,” said Jeff King, president of Manitoulin. “Manitoulin’s ability to extend customers’ reach from Canada to the rest of the world through multiple supply chain service offerings gives them a significant competitive advantage,” added Gord Smith, Chief Executive Officer.

IN PRINT — Bulk Buyer: Don Daseke

STEINBACH, MB -- Big Freight Systems wasn't for sale. The Coleman family had been running the business since 1948, when they bought South East Transfer in Steinbach, Manitoba. Chief Executive Officer Gary Coleman was focused entirely on finding ways to grow. When a courier package arrived from Don Daseke, proposing a potential sale, he simply filed it away. But Daseke persisted. The pair met in person. And this spring Big Freight Systems became the first Canadian ­operation in Daseke Inc.'s expanding family of specialized, flatbed carriers. "His philosophy on business, his ­philosophy on people, his philosophy in terms of driving success forward through collaboration, all ran very close to me," Coleman recalls. "I got comfortable with his long-term plan." That plan is to consolidate fleets in an industry sector dominated by ­family-owned businesses. The Texas entrepreneur has secured more than 3,800 trucks and 8,200 trailers so far, accounting for about 1% of what Daseke estimates is a US $133 billion market. The business reported $30 million in revenue in 2009, growing to a pro forma of $869 million last year. And more acquisitions are in the works. Daseke refers to himself as an accidental trucker. He began his career as an auditor, held roles at IBM, and later built a residential real estate business that sold for US $1.7 billion. He first invested in trucking nine years ago only after a friend introduced him to Smokey Point Distributing, which specialized in aviation cargo. That became the first of today's 13 operating companies.

Kriska acquires Service Freight Systems

PRESCOTT, ON - Kriska Transportation Group (KTG) has acquired Burlington, Ontario-based Service Freight Systems (SFS), which will continue to be led by general manager Rob Ten Brinke. Service Freight Systems, a logistics company founded in 1995, specializes in temperature-controlled, cross-border, truckload freight. Kriska Group has 600 tractors, 1,700 trailers, and employs 850 people including owner-operators. Its brands include Kriska Holdings, Mill Creek Motor Freight, JMF Transport (1992), and Transpro Freight Systems. "The KTG family of companies, with its asset-based core, complements well with SFS. They will add depth to our growing investment in logistics services," said Mark Seymour, Kriska's president and Chief Executive Officer, in a related press release.