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Midwest Motor Express acquired by investment firms

Red Arts Capital and Prudential Capital Partners acquire top 25 less-than-truckload carrier

Image: Midwest Motor Express, Inc.

Red Arts Capital announced that it has partnered with Prudential Capital Partners and Brightwood Capital Advisors to acquire MME Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries Midwest Motor Express Inc. and Midnite Express Inc.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1918, Bismarck, North Dakota-based Midwest Motor Express is a top 25 less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier operating 32 service centers throughout 16 states in the Upper Midwest and Northwest. The carrier utilizes marketing partnerships and other alliances to provide shipping service globally, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim. The carrier uses its regional carrier partners to provide next- and second-day service on the majority of the lanes it serves.

Midwest Motor Express has 800 employees. 

Based in West Fargo, North Dakota, Midnite Express Inc. offers dry van truckload (TL) and brokerage services throughout the continental U.S.

Combined, MME’s subsidiaries generate more than $120 million in annual revenues. The two carriers have 431 power units according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.

Specifically, Midwest Motor Express generated just north of $100 million in revenue with an operating ratio just below 94% in 2018. In the same year, the company’s balance sheet was levered at 0.6x debt-to-equity. Below 1.5x is generally viewed as healthy.

Midwest Motor Express’ capital expenditures are typically below $9 million on an annual basis.

Red Arts Capital is a supply chain- and industrial-focused investment firm based in Chicago. The firm partners and invests in mature largely family-owned, privately held businesses.

Prudential Capital Partners has invested more than $3 billion in over 100 companies since 2000. The group is part of Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU).

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  1. Ricky Olexo

    This is just sad that MME allowed this to happen. As a Brown Transfer employee I was tempted many times to seek employment elsewhere for various reasons. The more I came across meeting different customers and hearing their complaints I quickly realized that my company was in trouble which scared me. I’ve been with Brown Transfer almost 10 years now and after learning what had happened only made me want to stay even longer. Their a great company who actually cares and for that reason I felt obligated to stay and start explaining to customers a short version of what was going on and they had no need to worry that it everything will work out. I can see on my route that customers are starting to come back and that right there is pretty cool cause I know I did my part in showing them that we are a company that can be trusted. So long Red Arts as I am glad you have no part in my company that I work for.

  2. Noble1

    If you don’t like these “firms” due to the ways they do things , why don’t you unite, create your own , and do things differently ?

    You too can position yourselves to buy out carriers , become the carrier ,the shipper, the receiver, the producer, manufacturer etc, and or offer your services . You too can create your insurance business(Mutual) and self insure . You too can have your firm invest & trade in your favor . You too can become a power to be reckoned with .

    Think “collectively” . Think “uniting” . Think “competing” at a whole different level . Think “change” !

    In my humble opinion ……….

    1. Truck smoke

      Freight waves is a great source for information on the world of trucking. Readers have been stunned over incidents involving Schneider Gaines & Swift over the years. Now the MME acquisition. However the news of the decade has been the inside story of what is taking place at J.B.Hunt transportation since the 2013 announcement of Towery Maurice Burris being the successor heir grandson of founder Johnny Bryan Hunt. The announcement came out of Shelby, Cleveland County NC. The acknowledgement came after executrix Annie Ruth HUNT Browner executed the testate estate will & trust of Johnny Bryan Hunt & John Lester Hunt naming Burris beneficiary of an incredible percentage of stock. He immediately made his presence felt at the company his grandfather started in the 50’s. He started with the trucking division converting & updating the trucks. He then focused on marketing using YouTube & Instagram as platforms. He also implemented new hiring practices focusing on diversity after travelling to Lowell Ark to speak with CEO Roberts in private meetings. He & his team made stops in Springdale to view millions in real estate property left to him by his grandad. City of Shelby NC Chief of Police Jeff Ledbetter & Chris Ledford acted as security advisors communicating with Ark Law Enforcement. Burris who took the nickname J.B.Hunt jr. shortly after has yet to speak on the acquisition of RDI.

  3. Leveraction

    This is a shame and sad to see happening.
    Another TOP Trucking Company operating in a difficult market yet providing the best service possible to its customer’s.
    Now a couple of those buy them and close them crooked companies will drive this carrier into ruin for some game they like to play.
    People and Companies like these do not even care about 800 +families or so in that area. It is only about the evil $$$$$ to them.

Comments are closed.

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.