Platinum Equity closes acquisition of customs broker Livingston

Livingston is the largest customs broker in Canada. Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

Platinum Equity has completed its acquisition of Livingston International, Canada’s largest customs broker, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal puts Toronto-based Livingston, a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) in Platnium’s $13 billion portfolio. The companies announced the completion of the acquisition on May 2.

“We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and look forward to benefiting from Platinum’s dedicated resources and counsel as we continue to focus on providing best-in-class brokerage, freight forwarding and trade management solutions,” Livingston CEO Dan McHugh said in a statement.

The companies first announced the acquisition in February. At the time, Platinum said Livingston would benefit from its financial resources and “operation expertise.”

Livingston has extensive operations along the U.S.-Canada border. It is also the third-largest customs filer in the United States, and employs 3,200 people in North America, Asia and Europe.

The firm announced in April that it is joining the blockchain shipping platform TradeLens. It will take part in a pilot program involving the Canada Border Services Agency, testing the utility of blockchain in customs clearance.

Apart from customs and international trade, Livingston offers extensive freight forwarding services.

Los Angeles-based Platinum Equity has about 40 companies in its portfolio. Its transportation and logistics firms include American Commercial Lines, JM Swank and Data2Logistic.

Platinum is run by billionaire investor Tom Gores, who also owns the Detroit Pistons.

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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