An industry attorney played a pivotal role in securing a deal between U.S. Xpress Enterprises and Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, which is expected to close in early Q3.
Attorney Mark Scudder, who acted as an intermediary between the carriers, brought forth ideas to U.S. Xpress as its labor costs rose in the first half of 2022 and business operations faltered. Conversations between Scudder and U.S. Xpress leadership continued to develop as the carrier confirmed layoffs in August and later announced a restructuring plan.
In an extensive history, the April 20 securities filing documents how U.S. Xpress leadership shifted from uninterested to discussing possibilities and then working with their board to reach an agreement.
Conversations occurred even as U.S. Xpress maintained its interest in restructuring to cut costs and remain as an independent company.
The securities document provides extensive details on how the deal unfolded, and Transport Dive compiled a list of highlights. Summaries of the filing’s key points are listed in the timeline below.
While Scudder first acted as an independent party, that role later changed. His law firm had provided legal services to both companies before his discussions on a potential deal, but later, Knight-Swift became a client of the Scudder Law Firm once again.
Scudder told Transport Dive on April 25 that he wouldn't comment on the deal while it's still pending.
The family law firm itself has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and has worked with many of the largest and most successful transportation and logistics companies in North America, Scudder told Transport Dive.
Earl Scudder, who previously served as a director of Swift Transportation, is the firm's executive chairman. Mark Scudder previously noted to FreightWaves that his father helped on the legal side of building trucking companies in the '60s and beyond.
"We've been very fortunate to grow and learn from industry leaders and be involved in their strategic transactions," Mark Scudder said.