March continues trucking's M&A slowdown

Mergers and acquisitions roundup

March was another slow month for transactions in trucking's supplier, dealer and aftermarket segments — the second in succession after a busy start to the year.

The only new acquisitions of note came in the service space, though one large equipment sales acquisition first announced in 2022 did take a step closer to reality.

The first announcement of the month was W.W. Williams reporting on March 10 it had acquired Power Products Systems, a three-location service business headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. "This acquisition represents a significant step forward in the growth of our business from a volume, footprint and service capability perspective," said W.W. Williams CEO John Simmons. "We look forward to continued growth both in this newly acquired area of operations as well as in our current business model." 

Ritchie Bros. followed with an announcement its shareholders had voted to approve the acquisition of IAA, a move first announced last fall. Ritchie Bros. says it is on track to finalize the acquisition soon. "We thank our shareholders for their confidence in the Ritchie Bros. team, our strategy and the significant value creation potential we can unlock through the Ritchie Bros. + IAA combination," said Ann Fandozzi, CEO of Ritchie Bros. "We have a proven record of delivering on our stakeholder commitments and look forward to continuing this record with IAA."

A related bit of M&A news this month came from TravelCenters of America, which rejected a proposal from ARKO Corporation to purchase the truck stop chain. TA will instead continue its pending sale to BP. "Among the reasons the board determined that ARKO’s proposal was neither a superior proposal nor likely to lead to a superior proposal was the high level of execution risk resulting from ARKO’s failure to obtain committed financing and that ARKO’s sub-investment grade credit rating was not attractive to Service Properties Trust (SVC), the landlord of most of TA’s properties," the company reported.

The month did pick up as it closed. Penske Truck Rental reported its intent to acquire Kris-Way Truck Leasing, picking up 150 associates and 900 vehicles in New England. "Kris-Way has earned a stellar reputation in the marketplace," said Art Vallely, Penske Truck Leasing president. "Penske and Kris-Way customers will benefit from the combined services both companies have to offer across our growing network. We look forward to working closely with Kris-Way customers and associates to integrate the business into the Penske brand." 

On March 31 McCoy Group, parent company of Truck Country and Stoops Freightliner, entered into a purchase agreement for an office building at 501 Bell St., in Dubuque, Iowa. “The 501 Bell St., building will provide a great long-term strategic value to our group. We will be evaluating whether this building becomes our corporate headquarters sometime in the future or potentially just a good long-term investment for us. The facility gives us the opportunity to continue to add jobs and grow long term in Dubuque which is our desire and goal,” said Greg McCoy, president and CEO of the McCoy Group.

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