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Gerdin family to sell portion of Heartland Express stock

Stock offering could total up to $76.9 million

Heartland Express truck on road (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Heartland Express (NASDAQ: HTLD) announced a secondary stock offering by the Gerdin family trust in a press release after the market close Tuesday.

The offering is for the public sale of 3,260,870 shares of the company’s common stock and up to a total of 3.75 million shares if the underwriter exercises its 15% option. The offering in its entirety could total $76.9 million. The offer price was set at $20.50 per share, a 4.7% discount to Tuesday’s closing price of $21.52. The Gerdin family will own at least 32.3 million shares, or 39.7% of the company’s 81.4 million outstanding shares following the transaction.

Heartland Express was founded by Russell Gerdin in 1978. His widow, Ann Gerdin, is listed as the grantor of the trust. Current Chairman, President and CEO Michael Gerdin, son of Russell, is listed as a beneficiary of the trust.

All proceeds of the offering will be paid by the shareholder, who will cover all expenses associated with the transaction.

Morgan Stanley is the underwriter for the offering.

Last week, the North Liberty, Iowa-based truckload (TL) carrier posted second-quarter net income of $19.2 million, or 24 cents per share, 10 cents per share better than analysts’ forecasts.

In June, Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) announced a 14 million-share offering in connection with its founder and executive chairman retiring from the board.

Shares of HTLD are off 3% in after-hours trading.

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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.