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Forward Air acquires Total Quality Inc. for $66M

Bruce A. Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of Forward Air said his company was excited about the acquisition, noting their high level of customer service.

The Trucker News Services

3/7/2013

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Forward Air Corp. has acquired Total Quality Inc., a provider of maximum security and temperature-controlled services to the pharmaceutical and life science industries.

Headquartered in Grand Haven, Mich., TQI had 2012 revenues of approximately $54.8 million.

The purchase price was $66 million plus an earn-out of up to $5 million based upon TQI’s performance in 2013 and 2014.

TQI was acquired on a cash-free, debt-free basis with an adjustment for working capital. The transaction will be funded by Forward Air’s cash reserves and is expected to be accretive to its 2013 earnings.

Founded in 1992, TQI utilizes industry-leading temperature-controlled equipment, 24-hour realtime monitoring and tracking technology, and layered security features and practices to provide its customers with a level of service that is unmatched in the industry.

In addition to its core pharmaceutical services, TQI also provides truckload and less-than-truckload brokerage transportation services.

“We are extremely excited to join the Forward Air team,” Terry Fewless, founder and President of TQI, said. “We feel that TQI and Forward Air are a great fit, as each company truly values providing best-in-class service levels to its customers. This is a necessary and logical next step for TQI. Forward Air will be able to provide us with the perfect mix of resources, structure and industry expertise necessary to capture our growth potential, while not sacrificing our customer commitment to provide high quality service.”

Bruce A. Campbell, chairman, president and CEO of Forward Air said his company was excited about the acquisition.

“Our team has looked at a number of acquisition opportunities over the last few years only to have them eliminated from consideration due to core customer channel conflicts, high levels of asset intensity or inferior margins and returns. None of those hurdles exists with TQI,” he said. “Not unlike our legacy airport-to-airport business, TQI has found a niche where they provide extremely high levels of service to their customer base that recognize this value-driven proposition. This high level of service is a differentiator as well as a barrier to entry for other would-be competitors.”

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Campbell said Forward Air looked forward to the addition of the newest service offering to its airport-to-airport network — TLX full truckload, complete pick-up and delivery and solutions final mile services.

“Undoubtedly, there will be both cross-selling and operational opportunities for our combined teams to take advantage of as we move forward,” he said.

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

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