Celadon Group has purchased the truckload business, including some 270 tractors and 590 trailers of Nashville, TN-based Erin Truckways LTD, which operated under the name Digby Truck Lines, for $21 million. The transaction is part of Celadon’s plan to expand its customer base and add new freight lanes.
Digby earned about $48 million in revenues last year, Celadon noted.
“We expect this acquisition to follow the pattern we established with our CX Roberson and Highway Express acquisitions during the past few years,” said Steve Russell, Celadon chairman & CEO. “In those acquisitions, as in this one, our goals are to continue to broaden our customer base with quality customers, add density in our primary traffic lanes, and gain a significant number of experienced drivers.”
Russell noted that Celadon is hoping to add 150 drivers to its fleet from Digby through this purchase. “Based on our evaluation of the business, we believe Digby had a core group of quality customers and drivers, but suffered from the excessive cost structure that plagues many mid-sized carriers,” he said. “As part of the integration process, we expect to optimize the combined customer, driver, and equipment base to improve asset productivity.”
Russell said Celadon plans to retain approximately 90 of the newest tractors and 180 of the newest trailers from the Digby acquisition and dispose of the balance, and will keep former Digby drivers in their units until seated with newer equipment.