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7/12/2012 4:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Saia Acquires Robart Cos. Brokerage, Logistics Firms

By Greg Johnson, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the July 9 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Less-than-truckload fleet Saia Inc. announced it has acquired Robart Transportation Inc. and subsidiary, RL Services Group LLC, which offer freight brokerage and logistics services.

Saia, Johns Creek, Ga., said in a July 2 statement it paid about $7.8 million upfront but is also offering an unspecified payment based on the 2013 performance of the firms known as the Robart Cos.

Saia said it plans to rebrand the companies under the Saia banner in the fourth quarter.

“This acquisition supports our strategic goal of diversifying our portfolio of service offerings,” Saia CEO Richard O’Dell said in a statement. He added that Robart CEO Sharon Burton will continue to lead her companies’ operations.

Saia reported first-quarter revenue of $269 million, an 11% increase from a year earlier. Operating income rose to $11 million from $4.1 million as earnings per share surged to 34 cents from 4 cents.

Robart, Duluth, Ga., has provided brokerage and logistics services since 1981 and generated $12 million in revenue during 2012, Saia said.

In a research note, Raymond James Equity Research said Saia paid roughly 6.5 times Robart’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“The addition of these two asset-light businesses will offer some diversification from Saia’s traditional asset-intensive core LTL business operations and provide customers with en-hanced service offerings,” Raymond James said in its note.

The investment firm added that the acquisition presents an additional growth vehicle for Saia and follows a growing trend among trucking companies to expand operations into asset-light areas.

Saia ranks No. 23 on the Transport Topics 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada.

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