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October 1, 2014 10:00 AM, EDT

Knight Buys Barr-Nunn Transportation

Russ MacNeil for TT

Knight Transportation has acquired dry van truckload carrier Barr-Nunn Transportation, based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Barr-Nunn, which has about 550 trucks, will keep its management team and company name in place and continue “with the Barr-Nunn personnel, policies, and culture,” Knight said in an Oct. 1 statement.

Knight paid about $112.4 million for Barr-Nunn and its real estate assets, which is subject to a post-closing “true-up” and allows for up to an additional $3.5 million contingent on financial performance.

Barr-Nunn generated about $119.8 million in revenue, or $99.2 million excluding fuel surcharges, for the 12 months ended Aug. 31.

Its “highly profitable business” posted $26 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and $14.9 million in operating income for the same period, Knight said.

“Our goal as the new owner is to afford Barr-Nunn access to our capital, purchasing power and knowledge base as they continue operating the business,” said Kevin Knight, chairman and CEO of Knight Transportation. “We believe strongly in the power of our model, and Barr-Nunn is the perfect size for a new business unit.”

“Knight was our No. 1 choice for a buyer because their pursuit of excellence, their commitment to a career path for employees and their support of regional management teams strongly aligned with our goals,” Barr-Nunn CEO Jane Sturgeon said.

Phoenix-based Knight Transportation ranks No. 31 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.