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FitzMark buys Manning’s, its third 3PL acquisition in less than 2 years

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

FitzMark, a 3PL company based in Indianapolis, has made its third acquisition in less than two years, moving deeper into the agriculture sector by buying Manning’s Truck Brokerage.

The price was not disclosed. The sellers of Omaha, Nebraska-based Manning’s were the two private equity companies that had it in their portfolio, Optimal Investment Group and Resurgent Capital Partners. 

According to a spokeswoman for FitzMark, Optimal and Resurgent had owned Manning’s just  since February 2019. 

The spokeswoman, Taylor Williams, said Manning’s will continue doing business under that name through the end of the year. Eventually it will do business as FitzMark. Manning’s has 15 employees. 

Although the spokeswoman would not disclose the annual revenue at Manning’s, she said the revenue figure for FitzMark will be in excess of $250 million once Manning’s is included in a company that already grew with two acquisitions in the past two years. 

In January 2019, FitzMark acquired Reliable Source Logistics, which was focused on the reefer and beverage market. In April, FitzMark acquired Logistics Made Simple (LMS), a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based flatbed specialist 3PL.

While Manning’s is focused on agribusiness, Williams said it also does brokerage in other food and beverage products. 

With a quick turnaround on the sale of its investment, Joey Separzadeh, an OIG managing partner, said the portfolio company was “very proud of what we’ve accomplished with Manning’s in our short time owning the business.” “We were able to eliminate customer concentration and increase the customer base to include top agricultural companies in the Midwest,” Separzadeh said. 

According to their respective web pages, for both OIG and Resurgent, Manning’s was the only logistics company in their portfolios. 

For FitzMark, according to the spokeswoman, the deal builds on what the company was already doing in the sector. “FitzMark has a long standing presence in agriscience, working with some of the industry’s largest names,” she said in an email to FreightWaves. “Manning’s 50 year history in Corn Belt transportation as well as its blue chip customer list brings client relationships and credibility to an already impressive offering.” 

In the prepared statement announcing the deal, FitzMark said the purchase of Manning’s “further demonstrates FitzMark’s hybrid strategy of organic growth augmented by strategic acquisitions.”

Scott Fitzgerald, FitzMark’s CEO, said in the statement that the acquisition was a “no-brainer.” “Their team is knowledgeable, gritty and a great cultural fit,” he said. “We’re only interested in profitable acquisitions and Manning’s meets that description.”

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One Comment

  1. Jason Thomas

    “We’re only interested in profitable acquisitions…” Manning’s is estimated to have received a $312k PPP loan so that must have just pushed it over the profitability mark. A smart move by OIG and Resurgent right before a sale! FitzMark is also familiar with using PPP money to boost “profitability”. They’re estimated to have received a $4.7M PPP loan. I must say a nice strategy to fund acquisitions! May have been enough to fund the whole deal!

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.