J.B. Hunt Purchases Special Logistics for $136 Million; Deal to Boost Final-Mile Deliveries

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Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced it will acquire Houston-based Special Logistics Dedicated for $136 million to boost the truckload carrier’s last-mile division.

The Lowell, Ark. carrier expects to use bank credit to finance the purchase, the company wrote in a statement.

“SLD’s strong customer base and strategically placed fulfillment centers position us as a top national pool distribution services provider,” J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts said. “This acquisition will also allow our customers to deploy ‘big and bulky’ inventories into key markets, improving order fulfillment times for final-mile deliveries and further enhancing our e-commerce delivery capabilities.”

Hunt anticipates an incremental amortization expense between $7 million and $10 million annually and although the transaction isn’t expected to add to operating income in 2017, it’s expected to contribute to the bottom line in 2018.

“We view the deal to be a small, but logical and complementary expansion of J.B. Hunt’s existing e-commerce/final mile delivery solutions and consistent with their previously expressed acquisition strategy,” Baird Equity Research analyst Ben Hartford wrote in a note to investors.

SLD provides pool distribution services using 14 terminals and fulfillment centers in North America and a fleet of over 850 equipment.

J.B. Hunt ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.