Celadon buys CX Roberson

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Celadon Group announced Jan. 18 that it had bought Roberson Transportation’s truckload van business, plus 370 tractors and 670 van trailers.

Paul Will, Celadon CFO, said his company had bought the business and property of CX Roberson for $22.7 million. The transaction did not include any assets of Roberson’s flatbed business (PFT Roberson) and brokerage service (WLS Roberson).

According to Roberson Transportation, its van division generated $45 million in gross revenue in 2004.

Steve Russell, Celadon chairman and CEO, said that as with Celadon’s acquisitions of Burlington and Highway Express, the CX Roberson acquisition would diversify Celadon’s customer base, increase freight and add experienced drivers to the fleet.

According to the Roberson Transportation website, CX Roberson employed 450 drivers. Celadon said it will offer employment to 320.

Russell said that his company plans “to work hard to retain the Roberson drivers” and so will retain 200 of the newest tractors and approximately 200 of the newest trailers from the acquisition.

“In the short term, the additional Roberson drivers will retain their units until seated with newer equipment,” Russell said.

Roberson Transportation was founded in 1946, but CX Roberson, founded in 1984, was a relatively new part of the business.