Forward Air, Omni Logistics merge to create expedited LTL giant

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Forward Air (CCJ Top 250, No. 57) and Omni Logistics on Thursday said the two companies will merge in a cash and stock deal that forms a $3.7 billion company. Under the terms of the agreement, Omni shareholders will receive $150 million in cash and Forward Air common stock and preferred stock.

The combined company will have more than 300 locations, creating a network flywheel for customers through the addition of Omni’s 40-plus strategically located terminals across the U.S. with Forward’s comprehensive network of terminals near or at U.S. airports. Forward also continues to target opening 30 new terminals in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico over the next five years. In the longer term, the addition of Omni’s presence in Europe, Asia, and South America is expected to expand Forward’s international capabilities and allow Forward to provide extended logistics services support for global customers.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Omni is an asset-light, high-touch logistics and supply chain management company, delivering domestic and international freight forwarding, fulfillment services, customs brokerage, distribution, and value-added services for time-sensitive freight to U.S.-based customers operating both domestically and internationally.

The combination of Forward Air and Omni creates a scaled, premier, high-value, less-than-truckload enterprise focused on providing customers with multimodal solutions for complex, high-service and high-value freight needs.

Forward Air Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tom Schmitt said the combined company will be a provider of choice and he expects to compete for an increasing share of high-quality freight transportation amidst a dynamic market in which customers are seeking a more reliable LTL solution.

"The combination of Omni with Forward creates a company positioned to achieve the full potential of our LTL business, provide a broad offering of complementary services to our customers, and deliver meaningful value for our shareholders," he said. "Bringing together our organizations is a key stepping stone of the fourth and final phase of our Grow Forward journey to focus on high-value freight, develop an efficient operating network, implement strategic pricing discipline, and drive an expanded customer base."

The integration of Omni’s state-of-the-art commercial engine provides Forward Air with access to more than 7,000 customers, an increased domestic footprint and a full portfolio of essential logistics services, multimodal operations and supply chain services. In turn, Omni’s customer base will benefit from Forward Air's Precision Execution, which provides customers with the fastest transit times, best on-time performance and lowest claims rates in the industry. Of Omni’s more than 7,000 customers, over 70% are focused on high-value freight, which is expected to expand Forward’s expedited freight customer base. 

“Omni has a proven track record of solving highly complex supply chain challenges through deep industry expertise, advanced proprietary technology, and a multi-disciplinary commercial engine that delivers bottom-line value to customers," said Omni Chief Executive Officer J.J. Schickel, who will join Forward Air's board of directors. "We are excited to have found in Forward a like-minded partner who shares our commitment to strong customer relationships and unrivaled service, central tenets of our success in growing our customer base from 300 to 7,000 over the last five years. I am very proud of what Omni accomplishes daily for our customers and am thrilled to bring our companies and teams together to achieve the full potential of our combined force.”

The is at least the 13th deal made this year by a CCJ Top 250 fleet.