DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Family owned and Dothan-based AAA Cooper Transportation company has been purchased for $1.35 billion by Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. based out of Phoenix, Arizona.
Reid Dove, CEO of AAA Cooper, has been appointed to the Knight-Swift board of directors and will continue to be the CEO of AAA Cooper. Dove is the four-generation head of the company and says the headquarters will remain in Dothan and it will still be operated as an independent company.
“Joining the Knight-Swift team is an exciting combination for the AAA Cooper team members and customers,” Dove said. “It will allow us to pursue new opportunities and accelerate our growth. We will do so with the support and partnership of the strongest provider in the full truckload space. This is the fusion of two excellent companies in their respective sectors of the transportation industry, which makes this a win for our people, our customers, and for the newly expanded Knight-Swift team.”
AAA Cooper is a leading less-than-truckload (“LTL”) carrier that also offers dedicated contract carriage and ancillary services. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Knight-Swift’s adjusted earnings per share.
“We have long had interest in the LTL space and admired the success of AAA Cooper,” Knight-Swift CEO, Dave Jackson said. “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.”
AAA Cooper is expected to generate approximately $780 million in revenue, $140 million in gross, and
$80 million in operating income for the full-year of 2021.
The enterprise value of the transaction was $1.35 billion including assumed cash and debt. The purchase
price was paid in cash except $10 million in Knight-Swift shares. Cash was funded from a new $1.2 billion
term loan provided by Bank of America to Knight-Swift, as well as existing Knight-Swift liquidity.