AAA Cooper Transportation acquired

AAA Cooper

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. has acquired Dothan-based AAA Cooper Transportation and an affiliated entity in a transaction valued at $1.35 billion, including assumed cash and debt. The purchase price was paid in cash except for $10 million in Knight-Swift shares, with the cash funded through a new $1.2 billion term loan provided by Bank of America to Knight-Swift.

AAA Cooper is a less-than-truckload carrier that also offers dedicated contract carriage and ancillary services.

“We have long had interest in the LTL space and admired the success of AAA Cooper. We feel honored to be stewards of the AAA Cooper brand and, similar to previous acquisitions, AAA Cooper will continue to operate independently, while benefitting from the many synergies we expect through Knight-Swift,” said Dave Jackson, Knight-Swift CEO.

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. provides multiple transportation and logistics services using a nationwide network of business units and terminals to serve customers throughout North America. It also contracts with third-party equipment providers to offer a broad range of truckload services.

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Reid Dove, CEO of AAA Cooper, has been appointed to the Knight-Swift board of directors and will continue as chief executive officer of AAA Cooper.

“AAA Cooper has been a part of the Dothan community for over 70 years now. We look forward to many, many more years of growth and opportunity for our team members locally and beyond,” said Dove. “Joining Knight-Swift as an independent company pairs two outstanding ground transportation companies that offer complementary services with no overlap.”

Jackson added that in seeking an LTL partner, the company was looking for an entity that could provide market share, one that was profitable and had a good management team in place, and a company that had growth opportunities.

“We were excited to have identified AAA Cooper as a partner that meets all three requirements, and I couldn’t be happier to finally find the right time for both of us to create a partnership. This transaction firmly positions us as a meaningful player in the LTL space, where we intend to growth both organically and through future acquisitions,” said Jackson.

They are expected to generate approximately $780 million in revenue, $140 million in EBITDA and $80 million in operating income for full-year 2021. It serves a blue-chip customer list through an extensive network of approximately 70 facilities across the Southeast and Midwest, of which 90% are owned by the company. Its fleet includes nearly 3,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers, with approximately 4,800 associates. AAA Cooper recently was recognized by Forbes as a 2021 Best Midsize Employer for a fifth consecutive year.

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