WCAS Forms Energy Transport Conglomerate

Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe has merged three companies into a single entity that will provide land transportation services to the U.S. energy industry. The three companies are Ace Transportation Inc., Dynasty Transportation Inc. and Texas Hot Shot Co. No financial terms were disclosed.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Ace Transportation (“Ace”), Dynasty Transportation (“Dynasty”), Texas Hot Shot (“Texas Hot Shot”) and Venture Transport Logistics (“Venture”) have agreed to combine and become the leading provider of land transportation services to the U.S. energy industry. Ace, Dynasty, Texas Hot Shot and Venture will continue to operate separately in the marketplace having established their leadership in the freight market through safety and customer service. These divisions will operate under the umbrella of a Welsh Carson Holding Company (“Company”) and will be headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with a significant presence in Houston, Texas. The Company will maintain a rapidly growing base of over 230 truck terminals and 4,000 owner-operators located throughout the Gulf Coast and other energy producing regions of the U.S. This leading network of ground transportation capacity will be primarily devoted to customers participating in the oil and gas industry as well as other industrial markets.

Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Murphy noted, “This transaction represents a combination of the leading providers of ground transportation services to the domestic energy industry. We expect this combination to produce a number of benefits for customers, employees, terminal managers, agents and drivers, including enhanced information and communication systems, increased utilization and density, expanded geographic reach, and stronger sourcing capabilities and purchasing power.”

On the operational benefits of the combination, Ronnie Murphy added, “In a time of rising fuel and insurance costs and increasing customer requirements, we look forward to leveraging the organization's combined strengths and resources for the benefit of all of the Company's constituents.”

The company is majority-owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe (“WCAS”), an experienced investor in logistics and transportation services. WCAS General Partner Sanjay Swani said, “We are pleased to be able to invest in these high quality organizations and realize the benefits of the combination. In the combination, the company will be better positioned to expand its services base and meet customers' demand without sacrificing safety and service.”

Ronnie Murphy will be Chief Executive Officer and Kenny Cefalu Chief Financial Officer of the Company. The Ace, Dynasty, Texas Hot Shot and Venture divisions of the Company will continue to be led by Harry Hover, Ronnie Kole, Gary Rule and Rusty Guilbeau, respectively. Bill Busbice and Jimmy Glasgow, co-founders of Ace and Dynasty and Gary Rule, founder of Texas Hot Shot will remain significant shareholders in the Company. Jim Martell, previously CEO of SmartMail and an executive with FedEx Corporation and United Parcel Service, will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York-based private equity firm focused on investments in the business & information services and healthcare industries, has over $16 billion of capital under management. Founded in 1979, the firm has raised 14 investment partnerships and has invested in over 150 companies, whose growth has been supplemented with over 650 follow-on acquisitions.

Paragon Advising served as the Company's financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as the Company's legal advisor. Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP, Lippman, Mahfouz, Tranchina & Thorguson, LLC and Martin Law Firm, APLC served as advisors to Ace & Dynasty.