M&A Summary

Arkansas Best acquires Panther for $180m

Arkansas Best Corporation announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Panther Expedited Services (Panther), from Fenway Partners, a middle market private equity firm, for approximately $180m. The total transaction value is subject to post-closing adjustments, with all of Panther’s outstanding debt being repaid as part of the transaction.
Panther is one of North America’s largest independent expedited transportation and logistics providers. In 2011, the company reported $215m in revenue (unaudited) and $24m of adjusted EBITDA.
Arkansas Best expects to fund the $180m purchase price with $80m in cash and a five-year $100m senior secured term loan, which can be increased to $175m through an accordion feature. Following the close of the transaction, Panther will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Best and a sister company to ABF. Andrew Clarke will remain with Panther as President and CEO, reporting directly to Arkansas Best President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds. Additionally, all other members of the Panther executive team are expected to remain in their current roles with the company.
“Panther Expedited Services is an excellent strategic fit for our company and our customers as we seek to offer end-to-end logistics solutions for progressively more complex supply chains,” said McReynolds. “We are very enthusiastic about this unique transaction, which met all of our criteria for growth among many options we analyzed for several years.”

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