Knight-Swift Closes Acquisition of U.S. Xpress

U.S. Xpress Is Expected to Continue as an Independent Brand
US Xpress truck
U.S. Xpress is expected to continue as an independent brand to minimize workforce and customer disruptions. (U.S. Xpress Enterprises)

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Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings closed on its previously announced acquisition of U.S. Xpress Enterprises, the company announced July 5.

The acquisition went into effect July 1.

Knight-Swift is gaining 7,200 tractors and 14,400 trailers in the deal. The company is also expecting it could mean an additional $2.2 billion in total operating revenue and for it to be accretive to its adjusted earnings per share.

“We are grateful for the efforts of so many who worked diligently to bring about such a significant transaction in the truckload industry,” said Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson. “Against the current backdrop of a particularly difficult business environment, the chance to add one of the largest brands in our industry, with significant opportunity to improve earnings, gain customers and reach more professional drivers, is a compelling part of our plan to drive higher highs and higher lows across successive truckload freight cycles.”

Knight-Swift first announced the acquisition March 21. The deal at the time was priced at approximately $808 million. The announcement was made after it was unanimously approved by the board of directors at Knight-Swift and a special committee of independent directors from the U.S. Xpress board of directors.

“As we have engaged with more of the U.S. Xpress organization since the announcement, we have even more confidence that our combined efforts will lead to achievement of the profitability targets we communicated,” Jackson said. “Our cross-functional synergy teams made up of leaders from Knight, Swift and U.S. Xpress are off to a great start collaborating on plans to share best practices, improve operations and leverage economies of scale — and now they have the green light to fully engage.”

U.S. Xpress is expected to continue as an independent brand to minimize workforce and customer disruptions. CEO Eric Fuller and Executive Chairman Max Fuller had made plans to transition out of their roles once the deal closed. Eric Peterson, chief financial officer, also planned to step down.

“While the truckload part of the organization focuses on achieving the goals we have laid out for U.S. Xpress, our LTL and M&A teams remain focused on our strategic priority of continuing to build out a nationwide LTL network,” Jackson said.

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U.S. Xpress stockholders are expected to receive $6.15 per share for each outstanding share of Class A and Class B common stock. The Fullers and related entities will instead have a portion of their shares roll over into an approximately 10% interest in a new Knight-Swift subsidiary formed to hold the U.S. Xpress business post-closing. The rollover interests will be subject to redemption provisions based on future business performance.

Knight-Swift ranks No. 7 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. U.S. Xpress ranks No. 24 on the for-hire TT100 and No. 62 on the TT Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.