U.S. Xpress acquires minority interest in Abilene Motor Express

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U.S. Xpress announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 49 percent interest in Abilene Motor Express, a Richmond, Va.-based truckload carrier. The Abilene management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Keith Jones and President Kolen Jones, will remain in place and together will control 51 percent of Abilene. U.S. Xpress has a minority representation on the board of directors, as well as an exercisable option to purchase management’s interest through Aug. 30, 2010.

Abilene is a truckload carrier that provides medium length of haul and dedicated dry van truck services, primarily in the eastern United States. Abilene — which will operate independently from U.S. Xpress, utilizing Abilene’s current facility in Richmond — currently operates about 170 tractors and 534 trailers. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

“We elected to participate with the management group as a minority investor initially for several reasons,” says Max L. Fuller, CEO and co-chairman of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based U.S. Xpress. “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.”