Chattanooga, TN-based U.S. Xpress Enterprises finalized its purchase of a 49% interest in Abilene Motor Express, a Richmond, VA-based truckload carrier. Terms were not disclosed.
Abilene provides medium length of haul and dedicated dry van truck services, primarily in the eastern U.S., and currently operates approximately 170 tractors and 534 trailers. Max Fuller, U.S. Xpress’ co-chairman, said Abilene’s management team, led by CEO Keith Jones and president Kolen Jones, is going to stay in place and, together, will control the remaining 51% stake of Abilene.
Fuller added that U.S. Xpress gets minority representation on Abilene’s board of directors, as well as an option to purchase the remaining 51% stake through August 30, 2010. He said Abilene will operate independently from U.S. Xpress, sticking with its current facility in Richmond, Virginia.
“We elected to participate with the management group as a minority investor initially for several reasons,” noted Fuller. “We wanted it to be clear to everyone at Abilene that Keith and Kolen and their management team are in charge and focused on growing and improving the operation. Abilene is a well-managed truckload carrier and we have no intention of interfering with that success. We intend to help facilitate equipment and other purchasing as well as cross-marketing opportunities where prudent.”