Celadon Group acquires Warrior Xpress assets

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Celadon Group announced today, Feb. 28, that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries purchased the truckload business and certain tractors and trailers of Warrior Services Inc. — which does business as Warrior Xpress — for about $8.3 million. According to the seller’s unaudited financial statements, the Charles City, Va.-based transportation company generated about $20 million in gross revenue in 2006.

“We are delighted with the Warrior acquisition and expect it to follow the pattern established in our acquisitions of Digby Truck Lines, CX Roberson and Highway Express during the past few years,” says Steve Russell, chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Celadon Group. “In those acquisitions, as in this one, our goals are to continue to broaden our customer base with quality customers, add density in our primary traffic lanes, and gain experienced drivers.”

Celadon Group, through its subsidiaries, primarily provides long-haul, full-truckload freight service across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company also owns TruckersB2B Inc., which provides cost savings to member fleets.

“Based on our evaluation of the business, we believe Warrior had a core group of quality customers and drivers, but suffered from the excessive cost structure that plagues many mid-sized carriers,” Russell says. “We expect to integrate the acquired operations promptly. As part of the integration process, we expect to optimize the combined customer, driver and equipment base to improve asset productivity. We believe we can enhance the service to Warrior’s former customers through an upgraded equipment fleet, excellent technology, more available assets for dispatch, and an outstanding safety record.”

Russell says Celadon’s driver turnover has been significantly better than the industry average over the past few years, and the company plans to work hard to retain the Warrior drivers. “In the short term, the additional Warrior drivers will retain their units until seated with newer equipment,” Russell says. “We believe this strategy will allow us to focus on enhancing our freight mix, assist with driver retention and minimize the risk of unseated tractors following the acquisition. We expect the acquired operations to be accretive beginning in the June 2007 quarter.”