Customs broker Livingston acquired by Platinum Equity

 Tom gores is the ceo of Platinum equity, which is purchasing Canadian customs broker livingston for an undisclosed amount.
Tom gores is the ceo of Platinum equity, which is purchasing Canadian customs broker livingston for an undisclosed amount.

Livingston International, Canada’s largest customs broker, will be acquired by the U.S. private equity firm Platinum Equity for an undisclosed sum.

The sale, announced on February 21, did not suggest any immediate changes for Livingston,  a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), whose international trade portfolio also includes freight forwarding, compliance and consulting.

“Livingston has a unique business model and offers a compelling value proposition in the transportation and logistics sector,” Platinum Equity Principal Jason Price said in a news release. “We believe it can benefit from our financial resources and operational expertise. We look forward to helping the business maximize its potential.”

Toronto-based Livingston employs about 3,200 people globally and operates at locations across the U.S.-Canada border, as well as in Europe and Asia. The firm had been owned by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Sterling Partners, a U.S. private equity company.

“With Platinum’s support, we will continue to execute on our customer-centric growth strategy, which focuses on offering best-in-class customs brokerage, trade compliance and logistics services to more than 30,000 businesses in the U.S., Canada and around the world,” said Livingston CEO Dan McHugh.

Platinum’s values its portfolio at $13 billion and has 37 companies, including barge shipper American Commercial Lines, food distributor JM Swank and freight bill processor Data2Logistics.

Founded in 1945, Livingston has steadily expanded its customs brokerage business through acquisitions in recent years. It purchased Montreal-based Affiliated Customs Brokers in 2016 and New York- and Los Angles-based FPA Customs Brokers in 2014.

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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.