Celadon Group buys Continental Express truckload van assets for $24M

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Celadon Group Inc. announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries on Thursday, Dec. 4, purchased the truckload, intermodal and brokerage business — as well as about 400 tractors and 1,100 trailers — of Continental Express Inc. for about $24 million. According to the seller’s unaudited financial statements, the Little Rock, Ark.-based company generated about $92 million in gross revenue in 2007.

“We are delighted with the Continental acquisition and expect it to follow the pattern established in our acquisitions during the past six 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.”

Russell says that based on an evaluation of Continental’s business, Celadon believes the company has quality customers and drivers, but suffered from a cost structure that plagues many midsized carriers. “We expect to integrate the acquired operations promptly,” he says. “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 Continental’s former customers through an upgraded equipment fleet, excellent technology, more available assets for dispatch, and an outstanding safety record.”