Celadon Group acquires truckload van assets from Air Road Express

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Celadon Group Inc. announced Tuesday, June 5, that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has purchased the truckload business and certain tractors and trailers of Air Road Express Inc. Air Road will continue to provide asset-based logistics services with its LTL consolidation and warehousing operations.

Terms of the acquisition were not announced. According to the seller’s unaudited financial statements, Indianapolis-based Air Road Express generated about $26 million in gross revenue from its truckload operations, including fuel surcharge, in 2006.

“We are delighted with the Air Road acquisition and expect it to follow the pattern established in our acquisitions of Warrior, 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. “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.” In February 2007, Celadon acquired certain assets of Warrior Xpress, and in October 2006, Celadon acquired certain assets of Digby Truck Lines.

“Based on our evaluation of the business, we believe Air Road had a group of quality customers that will enhance our current lane flows, 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 Air Road’s former customers through an upgraded equipment fleet, excellent technology, more available assets for dispatch, and an outstanding safety record.”

Air Road has been a long-haul carrier, and its lane flow compliments Celadon’s network, Russell says. “We expect the acquired operations to be accretive beginning in the September 2007 quarter,” he says.