Knight-Swift Acquires LTL Giant AAA Cooper in Massive $1.35 BILLION Deal
Phoenix, AZ – The largest trucking company in North America, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc., grew exponentially this week following the acquisition of less-than-load (LTL) giant AAA Cooper Transportation.
Knight-Swift announced on Monday it had acquired 100% of Dothan, AL-based AAA Cooper and an affiliated entity in a deal worth $1.35 billion.
The transaction included $1.3 billion in cash, $40 million in debt, and $10 million in Knight-Swift shares.
Cash for the acquisition was funded from a new $1.2 billion term loan provided by Bank of America to Knight-Swift, as well as existing Knight-Swift liquidity, the company stated.
This is the trucking giant’s first foray into the LTL segment.
“In seeking our first LTL partner, we had three main requirements – the scale for entry with significant market share, the profitability and management depth to operate independently and provide a platform for compelling growth opportunities, and a world class culture,” Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said of the acquisition.
“We were excited to have identified AAA Cooper as a partner that meets all three requirements, and I couldn’t be happier to finally find the right time for both of us to create a partnership. This transaction firmly positions us as a meaningful player in the LTL space, where we intend to grow both organically and through future acquisitions,” Jackson continued.
“Joining the Knight-Swift team is an exciting combination for the AAA Cooper team members and customers. It will allow us to pursue new opportunities and accelerate our growth,” Reid Dove, CEO of AAA Cooper, stated.
According to Dove, AAA Cooper will continue to operate as an independent company and will remain headquartered in Dothan.
Founded in 1950, AAA Cooper employs approximately 4,800 non-unionized employees.
The LTL giant serves its customers through an extensive network of approximately 70 facilities (90% owned, with the remainder leased), consisting of a terminal door count of over 3,400 strategically located across the southeastern and midwestern United States, according to Knight-Swift.
It owns nearly 3,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers.
AAA Cooper is expected to generate approximately $780 million in revenue, $140 million in EBITDA, and $80 million in operating income for full-year 2021.