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Midwest Carriers acquires booze hauler Osborn & Son Trucking

Trucking M&A rolls forward

Two Wisconsin-based carriers join forces (Photo: Osborn & Son Trucking)

Midwest Carriers announced Tuesday that it recently acquired refrigerated hauler Osborn & Son Trucking.

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Osborn & Son operates a fleet of 21 tractors and 60 trailers out of its consolidation facilities in New Jersey and Illinois. The company was founded in 1898 and more recently has focused on alcohol transportation and logistics.

“Their 123-year history is a testament to the Osborns’ success and their vast knowledge of the trucking industry,” Eric Van Handel, president of Midwest Carriers, said in a press release. “We’re excited to learn from them. We’ll be able to learn from each other.”

Osborn & Son owners Dean and Sandy Osborn are retiring but several of the company’s employees, including family members, will remain in place as the fleet will continue to be operated separately.

Van Handel said he was attracted to Osborn & Son due to its cyclically defensive nature as alcohol sales are “not significantly affected by economic downturns.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Many carriers have been turning to M&A as a means of adding drivers, which remain in high demand as the nation grapples with labor issues. In addition to several smaller deals being announced, the bigger fleets are finally having success in acquiring other fleets.  

Knight-Swift Transportation (NYSE: KNX) entered the less-than-truckload arena in the $1.35 billion acquisition of AAA Cooper and Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) acquired a majority stake in two regional carriers for $142 million in less than the last month alone.

The press release stated that Van Handel also purchased Three-D Brokers, which is expected to provide incremental capacity to both fleets.

Founded in 1986, Kaukauna, Wisconsin-based Midwest Carriers operates a fleet of 180 tractors and 550 trailers, hauling refrigerated, frozen and dry freight in 48 states. The company has 210 employees and offers brokerage and third-party logistics services in addition to dedicated truckload and shuttle services.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

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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.