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Echo acquisition adds temperature-controlled LTL, national warehouse footprint

Freight broker acquires Roadtex Transportation for undisclosed amount

Echo makes first acquisition as a portfolio company (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Echo Global Logistics announced Thursday it has entered an agreement to acquire cold chain and less-than-truckload transportation provider Roadtex Transportation.

Somerset, New Jersey-based Roadtex operates a network of 32 cold storage facilities, providing expedited, temperature-controlled LTL transportation. The company’s food-grade cross-docking terminals also offer contract logistics services. The Roadtex network provides one-day service to 85% of the U.S. population. Its primary customers operate in the confectionery, food, nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.

The current management team at Roadtex will remain at the helm. Roadtex’s warehouse, logistics and LTL services will now be available to Echo’s 35,000 clients.

Terms of the transaction were not provided.

“With this transaction, Echo not only adds a national warehouse footprint but also broadens its temperature-controlled service offerings and customer base,” Echo CEO Doug Waggoner stated in a press release.

The Roadtex network provides end-to-end service — pickup, handling, delivery and chain-of-custody requirements. The company works daily with all the nation’s top-10 big-box retailers. The freight it hauls usually weathers recessions well, the release said.

“Roadtex brings an expertise with temperature-controlled deliveries into big box retail that few can match,” said Dave Menzel, president and COO at Echo. “Not only will this help Echo expand in this area, but we are also bringing on an experienced, well-regarded management team led by co-founders Bruno Ciacciarelli and Bob Kelly, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with them.”

Chicago-based freight broker Echo was recently taken private by The Jordan Co. (TJC) in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. At the time of the announcement, Echo’s management highlighted the benefits of becoming a portfolio company of TJC, which included a bigger pocketbook to competitively pursue M&A.

Echo has made more than 20 acquisitions since it was founded in 2005.

TJC has more than $19 billion in capital commitments, including other portfolio companies in the supply chain. That list includes AIT Worldwide Logistics, Capstone and Odyssey. TJC briefly owned GlobalTranz as well.

“We are excited to have our dedicated team of professionals join the Echo family,” said Ciacciarelli, co-founder and head of transportation at Roadtex. “As we have gotten to know the Echo team it was clear our cultures are very similar, and the benefits to joining the Echo team would be substantial for our team members and clients.”

Stifel acted as financial adviser to Roadtex in the transaction.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.