- TFI International acquired Keith Hall & Sons Transport (KHS), an Ontario-based carrier of milk, liquids, dry foods and freight. Keith Hall & Sons makes about 30 million Canadian dollars ($22.4 million) a year and employs more than 100 full-time drivers, according to a TFI news release. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
- KHS has 120 tractors and more than 200 trailers, including tanks, vans and reefers, according to TFI. KHS also owns a food-grade tank-washing facility at its Burford, Ontario, headquarters.
- KHS has a tank business similar to TFI, according to Alain Bédard, TFI president and CEO, which will help create "significant synergies" within the TFI organization.
This is the third specialized truckload carrier acquisition for TFI in 2020, according to TFI. KHS bills itself as a North American carrier, so it appears to expand on TFI's plan to widen specialized TL in the United States.
In June, the Montreal-based carrier acquired MCT Transportation, formerly Midwest Coast Transport. MCT Transportation was a refrigerated and dry van subsidiary of Comcar Industries, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 17. TFI paid $9.6 million for MCT, and $2.8 million for associated real estate. On the same day, TFI bought another Comcar subsidiary, CT Transportation, a flatbed company, and TFI paid $15 million for it.
In April 2019, TFI bought Aulick Industries and its subsidiary, ShirAul. Aulick provides contract TL for aggregate materials, wood byproducts, agricultural commodities and food-grade materials, according to TFI. ShirAul designs and manufactures the Bullet trailer, an aluminum-bottom tank. Terms were not disclosed.
So far, COVID-19 and the uncertainty it has created has not generally deterred mergers and acquisitions, said Nikhil Sathe, managing director of Logisyn Advisors.
"We believe M&A behavior will ramp up," said Sathe. "We are beginning to see some green shoots."
Logistics companies specializing in e-commerce and fulfillment are drawing particular interest as targets for acquisition, Sathe said. The coronavirus has accelerated the need for such services, leading to a doubling or tripling in value for the logistics companies, Sathe said.
That has buyers looking for a good deal, one that will mature in time. "If I'm a buyer, I'd be very opportunistic," said Sathe.
Yet the pandemic has caused hesitation in other areas of transport, Sathe said. Some potential sellers do not want to sell, fearing an unreasonable discount because of COVID-19. Some buyers have hesitancy because they do not know how the coronavirus will play out.
"The real impact is yet to come," said Sathe. Sathe, based in Toronto, noted Canadian government aid assisting the economy will expire in one month. Some U.S. aid has already expired while Congress negotiates.