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Originally published November 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM | Page modified November 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

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Heartland Express buys Pacific-based Gordon Trucking for $300M

Heartland Express buys Gordon Trucking for $300 million.


Seattle Times business reporter

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Gordon Trucking, a truckload carrier based in Pacific, was bought by Heartland Express in a transaction valued at $300 million, the companies announced Monday.

The purchase will make Heartland, an Iowa-based trucking company, the fifth-largest asset-based trucking company in the country, with a combined total revenue of $1 billion.

Heartland CEO Michael Gerdin said he was happy the two companies could come to an agreement even though Gordon Trucking owners were hesitant at first.

“We searched for many years for the best fit to expand our capabilities for customers, our opportunities for drivers, and our growth for our stockholders,” Gerdin said in a statement. “With GTI, Heartland acquires a major presence in the West, affording the combined customer base significant capacity nationwide through what is expected to be one of the five largest asset-based truckload fleets in North America.”

Heartland acquired the company with approximately $300 million, consisting of cash, Heartland stock and assumed Gordon Trucking debt, before taking into account an additional $60 million in net present value of expected future cash tax savings, according to the statement.

Payment to Gordon Trucking stockholders and associated asset owners was approximately $110 million in cash and $40 million in Heartland’s common stock. The Gordon family will retain a substantial portion of Heartland stock through 2017, becoming one of the company’s largest stockholders.

Gordon Trucking co-owners Steve and Scott Gordon have also joined Heartland’s management team, while their father, Larry Gordon, will retire after 50 years and join Heartland’s board of directors. Steve Gordon said in an email that because the deal is a stock purchase, the business will continue to run as is with no layoffs or changes to current operations.

But, he said, “Over time we’ll look at where we can adopt best practices at both companies to achieve synergy,” he said.

Gordon Trucking operates more than 2,000 trucks and delivers equipment, goods and supplies to shopping centers, manufactures and home-good stores across the United States, with a focus in the West.

Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422



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