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Knight: USA Truck lawsuit wasting shareholders' funds

Knight Transportation is the largest individual holder of USA Truck stock at 12.2 percent. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

10/14/2013

PHOENIX — Knight Transportation said in a statement issued over the weekend that USA Truck was wasting its own shareholders resources pursuing a claim that Knight Transportation had improperly used USA Trucks’ confidential information to begin a hostile acquisition of the Arkansas-based carrier.

“Our proposal was based on an extensive analysis we have performed of the company’s publicly disclosed information.   It is unfortunate that USA Truck’s Board has chosen to waste its shareholders resources on pursuing baseless claims,” Knight said in a prepared statement. “Given that our all-cash premium proposal delivers value that is superior, immediate and more certain than USA Truck’s risky standalone plan, we believe USA Truck’s Board should withdraw its lawsuit and immediately engage in constructive discussions to realize the benefits inherent in this combination.”

In announcing its action, USA Truck issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

“USA Truck’s Board of Directors is very disappointed that Knight is doing exactly what it promised not to use confidential information that it was provided in the context of friendly and private discussions regarding a negotiated transaction between the companies to initiate a creeping hostile takeover of USA Truck at a price that does not reflect the full intrinsic value of USA Truck,” the board said in a prepared statement. “As publicly stated USA Truck has previously offered to meet with Knight and remains open to all strategic options that reflect the full intrinsic value of USA Truck, including further discussions with Knight.”

The action, filed in the Circuit Court of Crawford County in Van Buren, alleges that Knight Transportation’s actions, including its purchasing shares of USA Truck stock, using USA Truck’s confidential information and its disclosure of the prior discussions with USA Truck are blatant violations of the confidentiality agreement between the parties and have disadvantaged the company’s other stockholders.

USA Truck is seeking return of about 400,000 shares of stock. Knight is now the largest individual stockholder in USA Truck at 12.2 percent.

The lawsuit says those shares were acquired through “ambush tactics.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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