Navigation Buys James Brown

Navigation Capital Partners and VVS Capital have acquired Southeastern freight carrier James Brown Contracting Inc., and its subsidiaries Brown Trucking Company and JBT Brokerage Inc. No pricing terms were disclosed. Debt was provided by Wells Fargo and John Hancock Life Insurance Co.




Navigation Capital Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that invests in lower middle market niche manufacturing and services businesses, today announced the acquisition of James Brown Contracting, Inc. and its subsidiaries Brown Trucking Company and JBT Brokerage, Inc. (collectively, “Brown”).  Navigation and VVS Capital, another Atlanta-based private equity firm, formed James Brown Holdings, LP as part of the transaction.


Founded in 1976 and based in Lithonia, Georgia, Brown is the premier dedicated freight carrier in the southeastern United States with strategically placed terminals located in the Southeast and Mid-South.  With 500 trucks and more than 3,000 trailers, Brown is the leading dedicated freight transportation provider to the paper and packaging industry.  Brian Kinsey will become Brown's chief executive officer and founder James W. Brown will continue in an executive role with the Company. 


“Along with the industry-leading performance of our employees and drivers, the resources Navigation provides will serve as a key element of our plan to grow the company while preserving its successful structure,” said founder James W. Brown.  “We're excited to welcome Brian to this experienced management team and look forward to the continued growth and success of the Brown brand.”


Kinsey is a nationally recognized trucking executive with experience in several other leading companies including Landstar System, CarrierPoint, Bennett Motor Express, Dobbs Houses and North American Van Lines.  Through his leadership of these organizations, Kinsey established himself as a leading expert on effective safety programs and owner operator trucking operations.  He is a graduate of Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School. 


“The capital and operating expertise provided by Navigation will elevate the excellent platform that Brown represents to a new level as it continues to provide premium service to its customers,” said Kinsey.  “The firm recognizes the incredible potential of Brown and the value created by its standing as the best trucking company in the Southeast.  With access to Navigation's resources and the support of our great employees, owner-operators and customers, we will continue to build and grow Brown into a world-class freight logistics provider.”


“Brown exemplifies Navigation's strategy to create productive partnerships where our resources can accelerate and support solid growth,” said David Panton, partner at Navigation Capital Partners.  “As the newest core company in our portfolio, we anticipate continued success for Brown as we work with the knowledgeable management team and Brian to help the Company reach its full potential.”


Financing for this transaction was provided by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and John Hancock Life Insurance Company, its affiliates and affiliate-managed funds.  Navigation was represented by Joseph B. Alexander, Jr., Daniel P. Rollman and Kevin Hull from Hunton & Williams LLP.  VVS was represented by Stuart C. Johnson from Powell Goldstein LLP.  Brown was represented by David A. Flanigan, Jr. and Timothy M. Silvis from Miller & Martin PLLC and advised by Miller Welborn of Transportation Capital Partners, LLC.  John Hancock was represented by Nicole L. Rives and Megan Smiley of Sullivan & Worcester LLP.  Wells was represented by Edgar C. Snow, Jr. and Lindsey R. Arnold from Burr & Forman LLP.


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About Navigation Capital Partners

Navigation Capital Partners is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that invests in lower middle market niche manufacturing and services businesses located in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States. The managers of Navigation formerly founded and managed Mellon Ventures, the private equity investment arm of Mellon Financial Corporation. With the backing of the Goldman Sachs Vintage Funds, Navigation acquired the private equity portfolio of Mellon Ventures in December 2006.  Navigation currently manages approximately $375 million of invested and committed capital.  For more information, visit


About VVS Capital

VVS Capital, LLC is an Atlanta-based private equity firm dedicated to serving the growing need for transition of middle-market businesses. Established in 2007 by Managing Partners Pete Vaky and John Van Slooten, VVS seeks to facilitate strategic acquisitions, management buyouts, re-capitalizations and growth plans. The firm provides both focused transaction service and ongoing intellectual capital to its clients. VVS brings over 50 years of investment banking and capital markets experience to each portfolio company to find the best available solutions to meet their long-term growth objectives. For more information, visit