May 8, 2013

YRC rebuffed in move to acquire ABF, ABF's parent says

Two CEOs met in late March to discuss possible transaction.

By Mark B. Solomon

Less-than-truckload carrier YRC Worldwide, Inc. approached Arkansas Best Corp., the parent of ABF Freight System, Inc., in late March with an interest in buying the Arkansas Best LTL unit, but was subsequently rebuffed, Arkansas Best said tonight.

In a statement e-mailed to DC Velocity, Arkansas Best said YRC expressed an interest in "exploring an acquisition of ABF," which accounts for about 80 percent of Arkansas Best's total business. YRC CEO James L. Welch met March 22 with Arkansas Best President and CEO Judy McReynolds at Arkansas Best's headquarters in Fort Smith, Ark., to discuss a possible business combination.

However, Arkansas Best told YRC in early April that a "transaction with YRC was not appropriate at that time," Arkansas Best said in the statement. ABF said it was too focused on contract negotiations with the Teamsters union, as well as "other strategic and operational initiatives" to seek an involvement with YRC at the time, according to the Arkansas Best's statement.

Arkansas Best has not held subsequent discussions with YRC, the Fort Smith, Ark.-based company said.

A copy of the statement is also being filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a March 25 letter to McReynolds, Welch wrote that YRC's board and management is "very supportive of our desire to work with ABF in an attempt to move a transaction forward. We think our indication of consideration is appropriate and meaningful for the shareholders of ABF."

The letter's contents contained no details about what a possible combination might look like. Welch told McReynolds that YRC "has spent a considerable amount of time thinking about both the strategy and strategic initiatives for our company." He provided no specifics in the letter.

A representative of Overland Park, Kan.-based YRC was not available to comment.

Last Friday, ABF and national leaders of the Teamsters union agreed on a tentative five-year labor contract. The agreement must still be approved by leaders of Teamster locals representing about 7,500 rank-and-file workers, and then by the rank-and-file itself.

About the Author

Mark B. Solomon
Senior Editor
Mark Solomon has spent 25 years in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management fields as a journalist and public relations professional. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in Washington as a reporter for the Journal of Commerce, covering the aviation and trucking industries, the Department of Transportation, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, he worked for Traffic World for seven years in a similar role. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Solomon ran Media-Based Solutions, a public relations firm based in Atlanta. Mr. Solomon graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C.

More articles by Mark B. Solomon

Resources Mentioned In This Article


Transportation Videos


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.

Subscribe to DC Velocity


Feedback: What did you think of this article? We'd like to hear from you. DC VELOCITY is committed to accuracy and clarity in the delivery of important and useful logistics and supply chain news and information. If you find anything in DC VELOCITY you feel is inaccurate or warrants further explanation, please ?Subject=Feedback - : YRC rebuffed in move to acquire ABF, ABF's parent says">contact Editorial Director Peter Bradley. All comments are eligible for publication in the letters section of DC VELOCITY magazine. Please include you name and the name of the company or organization your work for.