January 3, 2018 12:00 PM, EST

Private Equity Group Acquires Redwood Logistics, Will Merge With Simplified Logistics

Private equity group CI Capital Partners acquired a majority interest in Redwood Logistics, one of the top freight brokers in the United States.

Redwood will be combined with Simplified Logistics in a move that could catapult the entity into one of the larger third-party logistics firms covering truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal, competing with companies such as GlobalTranz Enterprises and Trinity Logistics.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Redwood Logistics, which ranks No. 29 on the Transport Topics list of top freight brokerage firms in North America, handles a majority of its volume on dry van truckload, but also does some refrigerated, flatbed, less-than-truckload, intermodal and parcel loads. The company is based in Chicago.

Simplified Logistics specializes in less-than-truckload brokerage and recently hired Sheila Taylor from the logistics office at Sam’s Club. She will remain chief financial officer under the newly combined business.

Simplified CEO Mark Yeager will lead the combined company. Yeager was previously chief operating officer of Hub Group, where his brother is the CEO, David Yeager.

Todd Berger, founder and CEO of Redwood Logistics, will be the chief operating officer of the combined organization.

“Todd and the rest of the team at Redwood have built an impressive company whose unique culture and dedicated employees are responsible for its success. The complementary nature of Simplified’s and Redwood’s legacy businesses makes this a natural combination that creates a differentiated, multimodal offering, improving the competitive positioning of both companies,” Yeager said. “This merger provides both businesses with a broader set of capabilities to offer our customers, and an advantageous increase in scale. We are excited about the growth opportunities for the combined company.”

Simplified Logistics was started in 2003 by David Klugman, Bob Maisch and Sam Avampato and is based in Westlake, Ohio. Avampato will continue to head the LTL business for the combined enterprise and will continue to use the Simplified Logistics brand. In addition to LTL brokerage, Simplified Logistics provides logistics consulting, transportation management and freight audit and payment services.

“When we initially acquired Simplified Logistics last year, it was our goal to build a leading third-party logistics provider,” added Joost Thesseling, managing director at CI Capital in New York. “We believe the merger with Redwood accomplishes that, and we will continue to look for add-on acquisitions that will complement and enhance the combined company’s service offering.”