Knight Transportation Inc. raised its stake in takeover-target USA Truck Inc. to 12.4% and denied breach- of-contract allegations.
Knight, based in Phoenix, increased its stake from 11%, according to a regulatory filing made Oct. 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That move followed an Oct. 11 denial by Knight that it had used confidential information in preparing its $9 per share offer for USA Truck.
USA Truck has rejected the offer, saying the company’s value is much higher.
“Our proposal was based on an extensive analysis we have performed of the company’s publicly disclosed information,” Knight’s statement said. “Given that our all-cash premium proposal delivers value that is superior, immediate and more certain than USA Truck’s risky stand-alone plan, we believe USA Truck’s board should withdraw its lawsuit.”
USA Truck on Oct. 10 filed the suit in Circuit Court of Crawford County in Van Buren, Ark., its headquarters city. The Arkansas carrier’s statement said Knight began “a creeping hostile acquisition” with information “provided in the context of friendly and private discussions regarding a negotiated transaction between the companies.”