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When American Bulk Commodities acquired DSI Bulk Transport earlier this year, it was a deal that ABC President Mark Carrocce said fits right into his company’s business model and also follows its philosophy on pursuing acquisitions.
“They’re in one of our segments,” Carrocce said March 22. “One of the lines of business that we currently operate in is the plastic resins. That was the majority of their business model. So it allowed for growth in an area of our business by acquiring them. Now we currently operate about 75 units in that space, and this kind of grew that by 50%.”
DSI is a bulk tank transporter of plastic resins based in Mantua, Ohio. ABC has left the company to operate as it normally does since acquiring it Jan. 1. Carrocce noted this has been the preferred approach of his company and how it’s able to attract sellers.
“We pretty much let them keep their identity and integrate some support from corporate into their operations,” Carrocce told Transport Topics. “They are operating under DSI Bulk Transport, just as they always did, and with support from American Bulk corporate.”
We pretty much let them keep their identity and integrate some support from corporate into their operations.
American Bulk Commodities President Mark Carrocce
ABC is a holding company that owns businesses that provide trucking and transfer services, including hauling bulk products and industrial tank operations. The company wanted to keep its family-owned atmosphere, and DSI fit the bill.
DSI will have greater purchasing power being owned by a bigger company, but that’s about the extent of the changes. Carrocce noted that while the company will have corporate support, there isn’t much in terms of areas of improvement that he sees.
“We’re really not looking to make a lot of changes,” Carrocce said. “I mean, that’s the whole idea behind our philosophy. If we’re going to make an acquisition, it’s going to be because of the family that wants to sell it, or the person that wants to sell it, wants to keep the identity of the company and they want to take care of their employees.”
Carrocce added that focus has been a big reason why ABC has been able to add companies. Other acquisitions including R&J Trucking, Southern Haulers and John Brown Trucking. In each case, the companies continued to operate as usual.
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“That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Carrocce said. “If we’re going to do an acquisition, it’s generally because somebody is more concerned about keeping the identity and people of their company when they decide they want to sell versus just selling for the highest figure they can get. And that is our motto. If it’s a well-run company, we prefer to keep the people in place and let them operate the business with support from corporate.”
DSI President Richard Bonner facilitated the acquisition by deciding to retire after a six-month transition. Carrocce noted that besides that and his brother, Kevin, assuming the role of operations manager, there aren’t any planned changes in terms of employees and company leadership.
“The other thing that we’re doing, which is really important, is that we’re not making any changes to the kind of trucks that the drivers currently are operating because this particular company operated a lot of higher-end, owner-operator kind of spec trucks while we operate more of a fleet truck,” Carrocce said. “We are going to continue to honor that tradition for the most part.”
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