Yellow's Trucking Terminals Sell To Multiple Buyers For $1.9B At Bankruptcy Auction
The largest bid was XPO's $870M offer for 28 properties, including two that are leased. Estes, the stalking horse bidder, scored 24 truck terminals for $250M, and Knight-Swift Transportation drove away with 13 terminals for $51M.
Trucking company Saia Inc. won the bid for 17 terminals for $236M. Saia's acquisition falls in line with the company's goal of expanding its national footprint, President and CEO Fritz Holzgrefe said in a press release. Other purchasers include Pitt Ohio, Crown Enterprises and R+L Carriers.
Forty-six properties, some owned and some leased, have yet to be sold.
Yellow Corp. entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest in U.S. trucking history, on Aug. 6 after almost a century of operation. Its difficulties included $2.5B in debt — with a $700M pandemic relief loan from the government being one of its largest — growing competition and the costly acquisitions of Roadway Express and subsidiaries of USF Corp.
The company put 176 terminals up for auction in an attempt to pay down a large chunk of its debt. Its major metro locations, prime for companies wanting quick deliveries, sparked a bidding war, with 540 companies showing interest.
Estes Express Lines was initially the lead bidder for the company's owned real estate, offering $1.3B. Less than a week later, Old Dominion Freight Line emerged with a $1.5B bid, as well as a lower breakup fee and terms that would help Yellow pay its creditors. Estes eventually won the early bidding with an upped $1.53B stalking horse bid, along with protections like a breakup fee worth $7.5M and reimbursement of up to $1.6M if the deal doesn't happen.
Even while the properties are being sold off, Jack Cooper Transport is trying to put together a $1.9B bid that would bring the company back to life. Its potential bid involves the rehiring of Yellow's 30,000 employees and is contingent on the federal government extending the maturity date on its pandemic relief loan from 2024 to 2026.
Ahead of the auction, Yellow sought court approval to back out of 37 leases comprising terminals, offices and warehouses across North America, including its Nashville headquarters. Landlords objected to the amount Yellow offered to pay for those leases, citing late fees, property damages, unpaid rent and taxes.