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Heartland Express to acquire CFI assets from TFI for $525 million

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On Monday, Heartland Express, Inc. announced the purchase of certain Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI) assets from TFI International, Inc.

According to the Monday announcement, Heartland will acquire Joplin, Missouri-based CFI’s non-dedicated U.S. dry van and temperature-controlled truckload business and CFI Logistica operations in Mexico from TFI for $525 million.

The acquisition does not include the CFI Dedicated or CFI Logistics U.S. brokerage operations.

According to Heartland Express, “the acquisition of CFI, together with the recent Smith Transport acquisition, will make the consolidated Heartland Express group the 8th largest truckload fleet in the U.S. and 3rd largest based on irregular route, asset-based truckload carrier in the U.S.”

The CFI fleet includes approximately 2,100 tractors and 8,000 dry van and temperature-controlled trailers.

Heartland Express says that the acquired CFI assets will continue to operate out of Joplin under the same management and brand.

Michael Gerdin, Chairman, President, and CEO of Heartland Express, said: “We are thrilled to welcome CFI to the Heartland Express family of companies, where it will continue to operate from Joplin under its own brand and current leadership team. CFI has exactly what we look for as we expand – significant scale, a respected and recognizable brand, capable management, safe and experienced drivers, a strong asset base, and a complementary terminal network. CFI’s strengths in the north-south midwestern corridor will add to our driver and customer capability, and their cross-border expertise will help us capitalize on the expected long-term freight volume benefits of nearshoring activity by manufacturers. At the same time, we can offer the CFI people a home that is entirely focused on their core – high-service, irregular route, asset-based truckload freight transportation. Over time, we expect to gain meaningful synergies and operate our consolidated business on a larger scale at our historical margins.”

Alain Bédard, Chairman, CEO, and President of TFI, said: “This transaction is a true ‘win-win-win’ for TFI, for CFI, and for Heartland Express. CFI is a great company, but the U.S. irregular route truckload business has become a small part of our portfolio. CFI’s people have been a small part of big companies for the past 15 years, and we wanted to find them a permanent home with a leader in the asset-based truckload industry to show what they can accomplish. Heartland Express is a truckload industry leader, and they respect and support CFI’s brand, leadership, and drivers. Mike Gerdin and I were able to quickly see the benefits to all parties and come to fair terms. We could not have found a better match culturally and financially for this transaction, which will afford CFI the opportunity to flourish and allow us to redeploy capital and focus our U.S. based efforts on LTL, asset-light logistics, and specialized truckload units. We expect a smooth path to closing and wish our colleagues at CFI and Heartland Express only the best.”  

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