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TFI pulls out of APPS Transport acquisition

CEO hints at issues with Canadian regulators

TFI International's portfolio of Canadian trucking companies includes Papineau International. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Canadian trucking and logistics company TFI International has pulled out of its planned acquisition of Canadian less-than-truckload (LTL) and intermodal carrier APPS Transport.

Montreal-based TFI disclosed the move in its third-quarter financial results released Thursday.  

CEO Alain Bedard told financial analysts on Friday that the deal fell through because “certain closing conditions were not met.” Without referring to the APPS deal, Bedard suggested that regulators were creating barriers to doing larger acquisitions in Canada.

“We are such a dominant company in Canada, anything with revenue of more than $90 million, we have to sit down with the Competition Bureau in Ottawa,” Bedard said, adding that doing so is a long, expensive process involving lawyers.

Feds mum on TFI-APPS deal

The Competition Bureau serves as the federal watchdog for competitive practices in Canada. A spokesperson for the agency declined to comment on whether it had investigated the APPS acquisition. 

“The Competition Bureau is aware that TFI International has announced that it terminated its agreement to acquire APPS Transport,” agency spokesperson Jayme Albert told FreightWaves in an e-mail. “However, as the bureau is obligated by law to conduct its work in private, I am unable to comment further.”

TFI announced the forthcoming acquisition of APPS in August. The price of the deal was not disclosed, but TFI said at time that APPS had annual revenue of about C$100 million (US$76 million).

Based near Toronto, the addition of APPS would have helped TFI shore up its Canadian LTL business and strengthen its container-hauling business. It was part of a string of U.S. and Canadian acquisitions announced by TFI, which raised $219 million in a share offering in August. 

TFI’s spokesperson said the company had no further comment on the APPS deal. A spokesperson for APPS did not immediately respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment. 

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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 [email protected]