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Estes Wins Yellow Truck Terminal Portfolio, Ending Bidding War


The bidding war for Yellow Corp.’s highly sought-after truck terminals has ended with Estes Express Lines’ stalking horse offer winning big.

Estes' $1.525B bid, offered last week, bested Old Dominion Freight Line’s $1.5B offer. The news came in a Thursday order filed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, FreightWaves reported. The court also approved Estes’ bid protections, including a $7.5M breakup fee and up to $1.6M in expense reimbursement.

“We are pleased to announce that we have been formally approved by the court as the real estate stalking horse bidder,” an Estes representative told FreightWaves. “We continue to believe our transaction is mutually beneficial to both Estes and the Yellow bankruptcy estate. We look forward to continuing in this process and working collaboratively with the parties in the case, and we appreciate everyone’s continued efforts.”

A full sales process will still occur for Yellow’s assets, which means Estes likely won't walk away with all 174 terminals in the portfolio. The bid deadline is set for Nov. 9, and an auction will take place on Nov. 28.

Earlier this month, Yellow sought court approval to back out of 37 leases across the country, including truck terminals, offices, warehouses and outdoor storage spaces.

The bidding war started after Old Dominion topped Estes’ initial $1.3B bid in late August, revealing intense interest in the rare trading opportunity for the asset class.

In response to Old Dominion’s bid, Estes raised its offer and proposed a lower breakup fee and other terms to help Yellow pay off creditors. Yellow filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 6 after almost a century in business due to a number of acquisitions and $1.5B in outstanding debt as of March. The debt was due in part to a $700M federal government loan it took out early in the pandemic, CBS reported.

Yellow had enjoyed a roughly 10% market share in the long-distance trucking industry and moved roughly $5B each year, Forbes reported. The next items to be auctioned are the company's 12,000 tractors and 35,000 trailers.