Acquisitions: Descartes acquires MacroPoint; TPG Capital nabs Transplace

Two separate deals kicked off this week’s big transportation news as TPG Capital has acquired Transplace, a non-asset based third party logistics (3PL), intermodal and truck brokerage services company, and Descartes announced it has acquired MacroPoint, which provides location-based tracking and predictive freight capacity data content.

“Consumers expect to see the location and progress of shipments from the point of order to delivery,” explained Ken Wood, EVP of product management at Descartes. “With leading e-commerce retailers and other shippers demanding that their transportation providers provide real-time location-based information, the business-to-business market now has the same expectation of full visibility into transportation moves. To meet this expectation, MacroPoint has established what we believe is the preeminent network of connected vehicles and location-based content in North America.”

Descartes is paying approximately $107 million for MacroPoint, $87 million in cash in $20 million in shares, subject to a 12-month hold period, with 50% of the share consideration required to be held for at least 18 months, it said.

MacroPoint, based in Cleveland, has a connected network of over 2 million trucking assets and drivers. Its technology utilizes electronic logging devices, transportation management systems, GPS-enabled smartphone applications and location-based mobile phone triangulation to generate data. That data is used by brokers, logistics service providers and shippers to track the locations of deliveries.

The same data can also be used to generate predictive freight capacity.

“MacroPoint is the market leader for truckload shipment visibility,” said Bennett Adelson, CEO of MacroPoint. “We believe that the combination of Descartes’ Global Logistics Network with our cloud-based, real-time load visibility platform creates a truly differentiated offering that helps customers research, plan, execute and monitor multi-modal shipments around the world.”

At the time of acquisition, MacroPoint had annualized revenues of approximately $12.5 million, Descartes said.

Descartes (Nasdaq:DSGX) provides on-demand, software-as-a-service solutions focused on improving the productivity, performance and security of logistics-intensive businesses.

TPG Capital acquires Transplace

In the other big acquisition of the week so far, TPG Capital has acquired Transplace in a deal worth close to $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Transplace was owned by Greenbriar, who partnered with Transplace management in 2013 to buy the company.

Transplace provides full transportation outsourcing, carrier contracting and negotiation, and freight brokerage services and offers intermodal services as Celtic International. The company generated gross revenues in excess of $1.3 billion from more than 700 customers, it said in a press release announcing the sale.

“We have enjoyed working with Jill Raker and the Greenbriar team,” said Tom Sanderson, Transplace CEO. “Our partnership with them enabled Transplace to significantly enhance our capabilities through four successful acquisitions in the last four years, including leading cross-border freight management company, Laser Ramos Gil; U.S. managed transportation service providers M33 Integrated and Logistics Management Solutions; and Canadian transportation management provider Lakeside Logistics. Over our history, we have completed seven transactions and with TPG Capital, we intend to continue to supplement our strong organic growth track record with strategic acquisitions.”

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.