J.B. Hunt Set to Acquire Zenith Freight Lines for $87 Million

J.B. Hunt truck
J.B. Hunt says the acquisition will enhance its final-mile service offerings. (J.B. Hunt Transport Services)

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J.B. Hunt Transport Services has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Zenith Freight Lines for approximately $87 million, the Lowell, Ark.-based carrier announced Jan. 31.

Zenith is a wholly owned subsidiary of home furnishings manufacturer Bassett Furniture Industries. J.B. Hunt will continue to provide services for Bassett once the deal closes as part of a long-term master services agreement.

“This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide, end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett,” CEO John Roberts said.

Zenith, based in Conover, N.C., provides specialized less-than-truckload transportation services for furniture manufacturers and retailers. The company posted revenue of $87 million for the fiscal year ending November 2021. Bassett represented one-third of that business.

“The sale of Zenith opens an exciting new chapter in our quest to provide the highest level of service to our customers,” Bassett CEO Robert Spilman Jr., said. “Disruption caused by the pandemic aside, we believe that the consolidation of traditional specialized furniture transportation is inevitable. As discussions with J.B. Hunt progressed, we came to understand the benefits that the scale of J.B. Hunt could provide.”

The sale of Zenith opens an exciting new chapter in our quest to provide the highest level of service to our customers.

Bassett CEO Robert Spilman Jr. 

J.B. Hunt said the transaction will be funded using its existing cash balance. The carrier noted the acquisition will expand its final-mile services segment. The deal is expected to close by Feb. 28.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services ranks No. 4 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. It is No. 5 on the TT Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies.

— Transport Topics

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