130 of Yellow's properties fetch $1.9 billion; former competitors buy most

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Updated Dec 8, 2023
Yellow Corp. tractor-trailer
Yellow Corp.

Several major trucking companies, including former competitors, purchased 130 of the bankrupt Yellow Corp.'s terminals for a total of almost $1.9 billion.

The properties were sold during a court-supervised auction, with paperwork filed Monday evening, Dec. 4, according to The Wall Street Journal. The bids must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. 

The proceeds from the auction and the sale of Yellow's remaining properties are expected to wipe out all of the company's debt, including the $700 million owed to U.S. Treasury for a COVID relief loan.

Results of the auction show::

  • XPO bid $870 million for 28 properties
  • Estes Express Lines bid $249 million for 24 terminals
  • Saia bid $236 for 17 properties
  • Knight-Swift bid $51 million for 13 terminals

A total of 20 bidders purchase properties. 

Estes and another LTL carrier Old Dominion Freight Line, had earlier placed bids for all of Yellow's terminals. 

The sale of the properties would appear to block a proposal by an executive with Jack Cooper Transport, the auto hauler, to purchase Yellow's assets and reconstitute the company as a smaller, leaner carrier.

Yet to come is the auction of Yellow's trucks, trailers and other equipment by Ritchie Brothers and Nations Capital.

The sale of Yellow's real estate brings closer the end of the 99-year-old company that had been beset with financial problems. In announcing it was ceasing operations, laying off most of its 30,000 employees, and filing for bankruptcy in early August, Yellow blamed the Teamsters union for its problems. 

In announcing Yellow's closing, the company's Chief Executive Officer Darren Hawkins said, “We faced nine months of union intransigence, bullying and deliberately destructive tactics. A company has the right to manage its own operations, but as we have experienced, (the International Brotherhood of Teamsters') leadership was able to halt our business plan, literally driving our company out of business, despite every effort to work with them.”

Yellow had been pursuing a plan to streamline the company's operations, which the union originally agreed to in 2022 but eventually opposed.

When the union learned in late July of Yellow's plans to close and declare bankruptcy, the Teamsters' General President Sean M. O’Brien said, “Today’s news is unfortunate but not surprising. Yellow has historically proven that it could not manage itself despite billions of dollars in worker concessions and hundreds of millions in bailout funding from the federal government. This is a sad day for workers and the American freight industry."