Canada’s Bison Transport under new ownership, but no changes to operations expected  

Bison truck on highway
One of Canada’s largest trucking companies, Bison Transport Inc., has been sold to James Richardson & Sons. (Courtesy: Bison)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Bison Transport Inc., one of Canada’s largest trucking companies, was acquired by James Richardson & Sons Limited (JRSL) on January 1. The acquisition includes Bison Transport Inc. and all of its affiliated companies.

Bison is a Winnipeg-headquartered transportation company established in 1969 by Duncan M. Jessiman, which has grown to more than 3,700 employees and contractors operating a fleet of 2,100 tractors and 6,000 trailers throughout North America. Together with its affiliated companies, H.O. Wolding, Searcy Trucking and Britton Transport, Bison services a wide variety of multinational, national and local customers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to acquire Bison, which has an outstanding reputation for customer service, dependability, employee relations and safety built over the past 51 years,” said Hartley T. Richardson, president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited.

“We have been a long-time admirer of Bison Transport and we are very thankful to the Jessiman family for entrusting the future ownership of Bison to our family. Bison and JRSL share many of the same values and we are pleased that Bison’s senior management team have committed to continue to lead Bison and ensure that it continues to adhere to the same principles and standards of excellence and safety as it has under the ownership of Wescan and the Jessiman family.”

Peter Jessiman, president and CEO of the Jessiman family’s holding company, Wescan Capital Inc., added that “Bison and its employees have been like members of our family since my father established the company in 1969. So, while we have mixed emotions, we are thrilled that we have found a buyer for Bison that shares our values of excellence and that cares for our employees and customers as much as we have over the past 51 years. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bison will continue to enjoy tremendous success in the future as part of the JRSL family.”

The transfer of ownership from Wescan to JRSL will not result in any changes to Bison’s operations, nor to the well-respected Bison brand, and the company will continue to be headquartered in Winnipeg.

“Today marks my 30th anniversary at Bison Transport,” said Rob Penner, Bison president and CEO. “As I take a moment to reflect, I take great pride in what we have accomplished here as a team on behalf of the Jessiman family. Having said that, I think that takes a second seat to the renewed energy and excitement I have for our future as part of the James Richardson & Sons group of companies. I feel great that the business I have had a part in building has secured its future with such a great organization.”

Don Streuber, Bison’s Executive Chairman, describes the transaction as “a made in Manitoba, family-to-family transition of a great Canadian success story that has many future chapters yet to be written.”

Last year, Bison Transport was recognized as one of the Safest Fleets by The Truckload Carriers Association for the tenth consecutive year.

Financial details of the transaction will not be made public.

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