BASSETT, Va. and LOWELL, Ark. – J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced Monday that its subsidiary J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. will acquire the assets of Zenith Freight Lines, LLC, a subsidiary of Bassett, for approximately $87 million.
Upon closing of the transaction, J.B. Hunt and Bassett will enter into a long-term master services agreement whereby J.B. Hunt will continue to provide the service Zenith has performed for Bassett, a manufacturer and marketer of home furnishings, for almost 50 years.
“This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide, end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality home furnishings and a leader in the industry,” John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt, said.
Bassett’s CEO said the sale opens a new chapter in providing high-level service to customers.
“Disruption caused by the pandemic aside, we believe that the consolidation of traditional specialized furniture transportation is inevitable,” Robert H. Spilman Jr., Bassett’s CEO and chairman, said. “As discussions with J.B. Hunt progressed, we came to understand the benefits that the scale of J.B. Hunt could provide in terms of equipment, technology, driver recruitment, intermodal transportation, and warehousing density.”
Zenith posted revenue of $87 million in the fiscal year ending November 2021, with Bassett representing one-third of its business. The transaction will be funded using J.B. Hunt’s existing cash balance and is expected to close by February 28, 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
“The sale of Zenith to J.B. Hunt represents the culmination of our life’s work in the furniture transportation industry,” Jack L. Hawn, president of Zenith, said. “Becoming a part of J.B. Hunt will advance the quality service we have established by providing scalable, efficient solutions to the furniture industry.”
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