Wheaton Van Lines acquires high-end Boston mover

November 25, 2013

Wheaton Van Lines Inc. is making a strong move into the high-end corporate relocation business with its acquisition of Boston-based firm Clark & Reid Co. Inc.

Indianapolis-based Wheaton, the fourth-largest van line group in the nation, closed on the acquisition on Friday afternoon, firm officials said Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1910, Clark & Reid specializes almost exclusively in executive relocations—in essence, moving employees for corporate clients. In 2006, the firm posted $28 million in revenue, and reported about 150 employees a year later, according to the Boston Business Journal.

In 2009, Clark & Reid ranked No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction in the annual Nationwide Relocating Employee Survey administered by Trippel Survey & Research LLC.

However, the firm downsized significantly after the mid-2000s, and had about 30 employees at the time of last week’s acquisition, said A.J. Schneider, executive vice president for Wheaton. He declined to reveal its most recent revenue figures.

Olympia Moving and Storage Co., a Wheaton agent that operates in Boston, will assume the operations of Clark & Reid. Eight of Clark & Reid’s employees, principally those who worked directly with clients, will make the transition. Those clients have included such names as Fidelity, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

The value in the acquisition for Wheaton is the stellar reputation of Clark & Reid and its client base, Schneider said. Wheaton plans to maintain the same high level of service, and both add value and expand its reach by throwing its national network behind the brand.

“The transition will be seamless, and corporate clients will find they have the same move managers and personnel with whom they’re familiar and that there will be no disruption in service,” said Wheaton CEO Mark Kirschner.

This is the second major acquisition for Wheaton in two years. In 2012, it purchased Hillside, Ill.-based Bekins Van Lines, which was expected to add $80 million to Wheaton’s $170 million in annual sales.

Snapping up Bekins boosted Wheaton’s standing in the $16 billion moving and storage industry from sixth-largest to No. 4.

Wheaton executives said Monday that the success of the Bekin purchase helped pave the way for more mergers.


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