Werner Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation’s largest transportation and logistics companies, Thursday, July 1, announced it has signed a definitive agreement and closed on the acquisition of an 80% equity ownership stake in ECM Transport Group, a regional truckload carrier based in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.
A statement from Werner said the purchase price was $142.4 million and the Omaha-based carrier retains an exclusive option to buy the remaining 20% of ECM Transport Group after a period of five years. With 2020 revenues of $108 million, ECM consists of ECM Transport and Motor Carrier Services of Pennsylvania who are elite regional truckload carriers that operate nearly 500 trucks and 2,000 trailers in their network of eight terminals and 18 drop yard facilities, according to a statement announcing details of the transaction.
“The addition of ECM’s skilled drivers, non-driver associates and terminal network strengthens our portfolio by adding short-haul expertise in a segment in which consumer demand and supply chain needs are growing,” said Derek Leathers, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Werner. “This transaction delivers on our ‘5 Ts + S’ strategy and will position us for further growth as we capitalize on positive market dynamics for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. We expect this transaction to be accretive in year one and anticipate cost synergies through integrated management of our combined fleet.”
“Both companies believe deeply that our professional drivers are the backbone of our organizations. We look forward to welcoming the ECM team and working together to create additional value for our customers and shareholders.”
The purchase provides numerous advantages, according to Werner's statement, including:
- Increased exposure to the 200 to 300-mile length of haul segment, in support of expected continued demand growth
- Adds high-quality talent and increases Werner’s fleet size by over 6%
- Addition of over 500 highly-skilled, tenured drivers in a constrained labor market
- Fleet of nearly 500 trucks and 2,000 trailers
Existing ECM leadership (including founder and President Ed Meier), drivers and non-driver associates will remain in place. Werner said it will retain the ECM brand to ensure smooth integration and high driver retention. ECM will operate as a standalone business unit within Werner and their financial results will be reported in Werner’s One-Way Truckload unit within Truckload Transportation Services.
“We are excited to join the Werner team and look forward to continued growth as we leverage our collective strengths to serve our existing and new customers at even higher levels. We are standing by our existing customers and will continue to provide them with excellent service. Werner shares our passion for delivering value and continually creating personal and professional opportunities for our accomplished team of professional drivers and non-driver associates,” said Ed Meier, President of ECM.