Caterpillar Inc. said today it will sell its majority position in the third-party logistics (3PL) operations of its logistics subsidiary, Cat Logistics, to Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based mergers, acquisitions, and operations firm, for $750 million.
The transaction, expected to close in the third quarter, effectively ends one of the most extensive forays of any shipper into the world of 3PL for-hire services. Over 25 years, Peoria, Ill.-based Cat Logistics provided 3PL support to more than 50 customers worldwide besides supporting the supply chain needs of its parent company, the construction and farm machinery colossus Caterpillar Inc., also based in Peoria.
Under the agreement, Cat Logistics will retain 35 percent of the 3PL firm and will continue to provide logistics support within the Caterpillar network. That business is expanding as demand for Caterpillar's products and services continues to grow across the globe, Cat Logistics said.
In addition, the 3PL operation will continue to provide services for several non-Cat-branded parts as well as for Caterpillar Japan.
The sale "enables Caterpillar to increase its focus on our core business that aligns with our strategic business model," said Stu Levenick, Caterpillar's group president, customer and dealer support, in a statement.
"We have a lot of experience owning and operating businesses that provide complex supply chain solutions," said Jacob Kotzubei, a partner at Platinum Equity, in the same statement.
Platinum has acquired four companies that fit in its transportation and logistics portfolio. Perhaps the most well known is American Commercial Lines, a Jeffersonville, Ind.-based dry and liquid barge transporter that Platinum acquired in 2010.
Caterpillar had said more than a year ago that it would consider selling its logistics operations so it could focus on its fast-growing and enormous core business.