June 2, 2014 3:30 PM, EDT
TransForce to Buy Transport America
Transport America Inc./Facebook

Canadian firm TransForce Inc. agreed to buy Transport America Inc. for $310 million to enter the U.S. truckload sector as a trend of mergers between major carriers resumes.

Quebec-based TransForce, which ranks No. 8 on Transport Topics Top 100 list of for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada, said the purchase includes assumption of $150 million in debt of Transport America, which is No. 72.

The transaction was the first among the largest tier of U.S. carriers this year after a 2013 surge in merger activity that included multiple transactions among Top 100 carriers. TransForce’s move continues diversification of the company through multiple acquisitions.

“This acquisition will immediately provide TransForce with a critical mass in the highly fragmented TL sector in the United States and we stand to benefit from Transport America's extensive geographic footprint and longstanding relationships with blue chip customers,” said TransForce CEO Alain Bedard in a joint statement with TransportAmerica.

“The acquisition meets all of the criteria we established as we explored ownership options, and we could not be more pleased,” Transport America CEO Scott Arves said.

The Eagan, Minnesota-based company previously announced it was considering a public stock offering.

Combined, the companies’ revenue was $3.5 billion, based on Top 100 information.

The agreement is between a subsidiary of TransForce and Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Inc. It is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Transport America has 12 terminals, with 2,000 employees and contractors, running 1,500 tractors.