C.H. Robinson to acquire Freightquote

by Eric Schroeder
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EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. — C.H. Robinson, a global provider of multimodal transportation services and logistics solutions, has agreed to acquire Freightquote.com, Inc. for $365 million in cash. C.H. Robinson said it plans to increase its existing revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Freightquote is a privately-held freight broker providing services throughout North America. The company’s 2014 gross revenues are projected to be approximately $623 million while net revenues are projected to be approximately $124 million and adjusted EBITDA is projected to be approximately $34 million.

Founded in 1999 by Tim Barton, Freightquote is one of the largest Internet-based freight brokers in the United States, providing truckload, less than truckload and intermodal services to approximately 80,000 customers. The company is based in Kansas City and employs about 1,000.

“Freightquote is a high quality, innovative, growth company that brings a proven model serving smaller businesses,” said John Wiehoff, chairman and chief executive officer of C.H. Robinson. “Its proprietary e-commerce technology allows shippers to easily access competitive rates and automated load acceptance and payment functionality. E-commerce is going to be a bigger part of future supply chain services, and Freightquote brings us a leading solution in our industry. Along with their track record of success, Freightquote has an established brand, a talented management team, excellent people and a performance-based company culture.”

Mr. Wiehoff continued, “Freightquote brings synergies to our less than truckload and truckload businesses as well as a talented technology team with expertise developing a great e-commerce store front experience. We look for quality companies, and Tim has built a great model and team at Freightquote.”

Scott Satterlee, senior vice-president of North America Surface Transportation at C.H. Robinson, said adding Freightquote will increase the company’s market share with small businesses and significantly expand C.H. Robinson’s presence in the Kansas City market.

“We have built our business over decades by providing unparalleled service to all types of customers, and we are honored to add this strong organization dedicated to that same strategy,” Mr. Satterlee said. “Freightquote will operate as one of our flagship operations in Kansas City, and we plan to continue to aggressively grow the operations there.

Mr. Barton, executive chairman of Freightquote, will serve as a consultant to Freightquote following the closing of the acquisition.

“We spent a long time looking for the right strategic partner and are pleased to join the C.H. Robinson organization,” Mr. Barton said. “The two companies complement each other, and together we are well positioned for success into the future.”
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