Universal Truckload Services to acquire Westport Axle

Universal Truckload Services announces it will acquire the sole shareholder of Westport Axle Corporation from an international industrial group headed in Brazil by SM Brasil Participacoes S/A.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Westport provides value-added warehousing and component distribution services to U.S. manufacturers of Class 4-8 trucks, RVs and super-duty trucks.  Westport also machines and distributes steering knuckles and axle components for the automotive industry.

For the year-ended Dec. 31, 2012, Westport had operating revenues of $58.4 million, and $66.0 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2013.

The cash purchase price is $123 million and is subject to a post-closing adjustment. To finance the acquisition, Universal says it anticipates increasing its senior credit facility to $300 million. Universal expects to receive regulatory approval for the transaction and close in late December 2013, subject to customary closing conditions, the company says.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this new partnership brings to Universal,” says Scott Wolfe, CEO.  “The acquisition of Westport strategically enhances our customer base by further penetrating industrial markets, specifically to manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks.

“We believe that Westport’s value-added services and limited capital requirements fit nicely into Universal’s business model and long-term growth strategy.  We look forward to working with Westport’s proven management team to enhance their already-strong customer relationships as we further expand Universal’s value to our customers.”

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