Freight broker and third party logistics provider (3PL) Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) has been acquired by Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm that bought out Nolan's previous owner, the Charlotte-based private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners.
Terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
Atlanta-based NTG will now operate as a sister company to Transportation Insight (TI), a non-asset-based provider of enterprise logistics and transportation brokerage services with headquarters in Hickory, N.C., that was also recently acquired by Gryphon. TI offers 3PL services including carrier sourcing, freight bill audit and payment services, transportation management system (TMS) applications, parcel technology platform (audit, engineering, advanced analytics), and business intelligence.
Both firms will retain their existing names and current management teams, while leveraging each others' services, Gryphon said. Together, TI and NTG will have gross revenues of approximately $3 billion per year, ranking them among the top three independent freight brokerages and the top two enterprise logistics providers in the U.S., said Gryphon.
That combination will allow both firms to strengthen their positions in the sector, TI Founder and Chairman Paul Thompson said in a release. "Logistics and supply chain management remains a highly fragmented industry, with demand growth being driven by increased outsourcing of the transportation function, growing complexity of the supply chain, continued growth in e-commerce, and increased customer expectations," Thompson said. "Larger outsourcing firms and brokerages will have a significant advantage as companies look to reduce costs and guarantee on-time deliveries."
Senior management at NTG, including Founder and Chairman Kevin Nolan and CEO Harold Baron, will retain a significant ownership position in the combined company going forward, Gryphon said. Those are similar terms to Gryphon's August acquisition of TI, which handed ownership stakes to Thompson and the TI management team.
NTG's freight brokerage services include multimodal offerings spanning truckload, expedited, less than truckload (LTL), drayage, and intermodal, serving more than 6,000 customers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with its proprietary FreightHawk software platform.
"NTG is a great example of why we believe the logistics space, and specifically the truck brokerage market, will continue to be a tremendous investment opportunity," said Jeff Kidd, a director with Harris Williams and Co., the Richmond, Va., investment bank that brokered the deal. "Secular tailwinds, strong economic growth, as well as the significant market fragmentation make the third party logistics space ripe for continued M&A activity."