Ryder System, Inc. will acquire two truck leasing companies: General Car & Truck Leasing System, which has a fleet of 4,000 vehicles, and Ruan Leasing Company, with a fleet of 6,800 vehicles.
General Car and Truck Leasing System is a privately-held commercial truck leasing, maintenance and rental company based in Davenport, Iowa which, despite its name, is no longer engaged in the car rental business. Ryder will acquire General's fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles and over 700 customers in the U.S. The combined network will operate under the Ryder name, company officials said. Ryder said it expects the buy to be final by the end of the year and to take effect on Jan. 1.
The second purchase is Ruan Leasing a subsidiary of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, located in Des Moines, Iowa. Ruan operates in the Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic regions and California. Ruan serves more than 550 customers with a fleet of nearly 6,800 vehicles and an additional 4,800 units under contract maintenance agreements, according to Ryder officials. Ruan's supply chain, logistics and dedicated contract carriage businesses are not included in the deal.
The Ruan purchase is still subject to negotiations and customary closing conditions, including regulatory consents and the approval of each company's board of directors, Ryder officials noted. They expect the deal to close by the end of first quarter.
At the same time, Ryder announced financial forecasts, saying that it expects full-year 2004 earnings to be 13 percent to 20 percent higher than current 2003 predictions. The company says that full-year 2004 earnings will be in the range of $2.35 to $2.45 a share, up from current full-year 2003 earnings per share estimates of $2.04 to $2.08 a share, before the cumulative effect of accounting changes. The company also affirmed its fourth quarter earnings per share of 53 cents to 57 cents, excluding a 6-cents-a-share charge related to accounting changes.