Big G Express acquires Tennessee flatbed company

Updated Jun 6, 2016

Big G Express, a truckload carrier based in Shelbyville, Tennessee, has acquired Ike Transportation, a regional flatbed carrier headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The sale price was not disclosed, but Ike Transportation’s 2015 revenues were about $9.7 million, according to a statement from Big G Express. Ike has  51 employees, 41 tractors, and 57 trailers and has specialized in hauling steel for a variety of industries in southeastern U.S. for the last 20 years.

Ike is now a subsidiary of Big G Express.

“Like Ike, Big G Express is a family oriented company,” said Steve Jones, who with Steve Rutledge founded Ike in 1996. “There were several other offers, but we chose to sell to Big G because we knew they shared the same values with a similar culture of teamwork and respect. Steve and I wanted to make sure our people were taken care of in the future, and Big G’s ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) offered that security.”

“I see this acquisition as a catalyst for growth that will reinforce our commitment to customers in the markets we serve,” said Rutledge. “Most importantly, the ESOP structure will reward employees for their dedication and hard work and support our ‘customer focused’ culture.”

According to a statement from Big G Express, the acquisition will also help diversify the business of the company, which has 500 trucks and 1,300 trailers.

“This move will benefit all our employee owners since we’re acquiring a strong business that has a solid record of growth and profitability,” said Randy Vernon, president of Big G Express. “At the same time, we’re expanding our revenue stream and protecting ourselves from fluctuations in the market.”

Jones and Rutledge will continue in their day-to-day roles and serve as president and VP of sales and development, according to the Big G Express statement.

Big G Express was founded in 1995 by Jack and Pat Marsh, and became employee owned in January 2009. The company has terminals in Deason, Tennessee; Mt. Juliet, Tennessee; Russelville, Tennessee and Clarksville, Indiana.