Western Express files for IPO

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Truckload carrier Western Express has registered for an initial public offering. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company, led by Chief Executive Officer Wayne Wise, has applied to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker WEXP, according to its SEC filing.

Through the first six months of this year, Western had revenue of $120.3 million and earnings of $1.5 million. A year ago, those numbers were $107.2 million and a loss of $617,000, respectively. Full-year results for 2004 were $226 million in revenues and $1.5 million in earnings.

From 2000 to 2003, the company went on a buying spree, picking up Alabama Dixieland Express, Proline Carriers and Prostar Logistics, J-Mar Trucking Inc. and Deaton Inc. through acquisitions, according to the filing.

Western Express Holdings was incorporated in September of this year as the holding company of Western Express, which Wise founded in 1990. He and his wife, Donna, own 90 percent of the holding company. Paul Wieck, executive vice president of sales and marketing, owns 10 percent. The filing doesn’t indicate how much of those holdings they intend to sell.

J.P. Morgan is slated as the lead underwriter on the deal, which was announced Monday, Nov. 14. Terms and timing have yet to be determined.