June 2, 2016
Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, announced today that it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Watkins & Shepard Trucking Inc. (Watkins & Shepard) on its acquisition by global logistics leader Schneider National Carriers, Inc. (Schneider). Watkins & Shepard is a leading transportation and logistics provider for traditional retail and e-commerce furniture and flooring companies and specializes in transporting difficult to handle goods across the entire continental US.
Founded in 1974, Watkins & Shepard is a privately owned company headquartered in Missoula, Montana with over 1,300 employees. Through its history, the company has become an expert in providing Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Truckload services for furniture and home goods. Cascadia also advised Watkins & Shepard on the acquisition of Lodeso, Inc., a leading provider of final mile logistics. Combined with Lodeso’s proprietary technology systems, Watkins & Shepard has emerged as a nationwide leader for first-to-final mile furniture transportation in the US, making it the partner of choice for customers such as Wayfair, Costco.com and Home Depot. Both Lodeso and Watkins & Shepard have been acquired by Schneider.
Schneider is the premier provider of truckload, logistics and intermodal services, operating throughout North America and China. A company with $4 billion in annual revenue, privately held Schneider is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin and has provided expert transportation and logistics solutions for 80 years.
Following the transaction, Schneider will build on Watkins & Shepard’s unique and unrivalled network of terminals throughout the US, strategically positioned near leading furniture and flooring manufacturers and key ports on the East and West Coast. In addition, Schneider will benefit from the company’s proprietary knowledge and expertise, as well as Lodeso’s technology platform to take advantage of the rapidly growing e-commerce market for furniture and home goods.
Christian Schiller, Managing Director, Cascadia Capital said: “This transaction is a bellwether of the transportation industry dynamics focused on vertical market solutions and first-to-last mile coverage. It is also a testament to the continued mission critical importance of best-in-class transportation solutions to e-commerce players, which require partners like Watkins & Shepard to deliver on their consumer promise. It was a pleasure to work with the Watkins & Shepard team on this important milestone for their company. They have a unique, industry-leading business catering to a market segment that is showing unprecedented growth, and we are excited for their expanded opportunities and continued growth in partnership with the highly regarded team at Schneider.”
Ray Kuntz, CEO and Chairman, Watkins & Shepard commented: “The Cascadia team provided invaluable insights in positioning us in the market, given their firm’s knowledge both of the transportation and e-commerce industries. They were able to deliver on their promises and exceeded our expectations in an investment banking partner, to guide us effectively through this critical juncture in our company’s growth path. We thank them for bringing us together with a truly ideal partner for our shareholders, employees and customers, and we look forward to working with Schneider to continue to build upon our market-leading position.”
The Cascadia Capital team was led by Christian Schiller, Managing Director, along with Senior Vice President Mike Kelley.
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