Shareholders of Smithway Motor Xpress Corp. have agreed to a buyout of the Fort Dodge, IA-based truckload carrier by Nashville-based rival Western Express for $54 million-- or about $10.63 per share. Western Express is also assuming Smithway’s $90 million worth of debt.
The deal should be wrapped up by July, said Wayne Wise, Western’s chairman, president & CEO, and is structured as a merger so Smithway will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Western.
The purchase is expected to help build up Western’s dry van and flatbed operations. On a combined basis, the companies would operate approximately 1,600 tractors in dry van operations and 1,400 tractors in flatbed operations, said Wise.
Smithway’s senior management team and employees are expected to remain at Smithway and play integral roles in delivering the companies’ combined services to the
truckload market, said G. Larry Owens, Smithway’s president & CEO.
“The addition of our fleet and truckload transportation services brings tremendous value to Western, creating an even stronger company in the truckload market,” Owens added. “By joining our complementary services, the combined company gives our business the right platform from which to achieve their full potential. In addition, our employees will benefit by being part of a larger, more diversified organization.”