Cox Transportation Services announced Wednesday the acquisition of truckload provider Outwest Express.
Based in El Paso, Texas, Outwest operates a fleet of more than 400 tractors and 1,200 trailers throughout the southwestern U.S. The carrier specializes in Mexican cross-border logistics, serving the retail, medical and manufacturing sectors. It also provides warehousing, transloading and consolidation services through a network of terminals and drop yards.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Private equity firms Expedition Capital Partners and Prudential Private Capital led a recapitalization of Cox in conjunction with the acquisition. Truist (NYSE: TFC) led a syndicate of five banks responsible for the debt financing.
“We admire the business they built and view it as a perfect complement to ours,” Cox CEO Jay Smith said in a news release. “By combining Outwest’s capacity and expertise with Cox’s, we can better serve our customers and enhance our role as a trusted and critical supply chain partner.”
Outwest’s cross-border operations have benefited from an increase in the near-shoring of manufacturing, a news release said.
Outwest founders Michael Puzio and Zachary Chilson “will retain significant ownership stakes in the combined company” and will continue to manage the daily operations. The fleet will continue to run under the Outwest brand.
“This acquisition represents an important first step in our ongoing efforts to broaden and deepen our ability to serve our customers across truckload transportation and brokerage,” Smith added.
Cox is a 40-year-old transportation and brokerage company headquartered in Ashland, Virginia. It specializes in time-sensitive TL freight. Cox’s growth strategy includes organic initiatives as well as M&A.
“Zach and I felt strongly that it was the right time to align Outwest with a strong truckload carrier like Cox with a clear and demonstrated plan for success in today’s transportation marketplace,” Puzio said. “Zach and I will continue to be deeply invested and focused on ensuring great outcomes for all our employees and customers.”
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