Borderlands: CanadaNews

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.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at