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Celadon snaps up two more trucking companies

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Celadon Group Inc.'s litany of acquisitions rolls on, with two more deals announced Friday that will expand its footprint and add temperature-controlled service to its specialties.

The Indianapolis-based company's Celadon Trucking Services subsidiary has agreed to acquire Warren-based Rock Leasing Inc. in northeast Indiana and Wadley, Ala.-based Kelly Logistics Inc.

Terms of the purchases were not disclosed.

Rock Leasing is a leading provider of temperature-controlled shipments in the Midwest. Celadon plan to maintain Rock’s Indiana leasing facility — a 20-acre site in Huntington County that includes 150,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Kelly Logistics offers dedicated customer spotting and shuttle services in the Southeast.

“Based on previous acquisitions, we believe we can actually enhance that service through upgraded equipment, advanced technology, additional assets available for dispatch, and an industry leading safety record,” Celadon CEO Paul Will said in a prepared statement.

Celadon has made more than a dozen acquisitions in as many years—typically small, privately held carriers. Many have been under pressure during the economic slowdown. Often, their value is found in their equipment and assets.

In 2011 alone, Celadon bought the dry van division assets of Dallas-based FFE Transportation and acquired Pennsylvania-based Martini Transportation.

That year, Celadon also bought 6.3 percent of Arkansas-based USA Truck. Celadon expressed interest in a deeper “association,” but USA management slammed the door.

Celadon is one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, with customers including Chrysler, General Electric, Phillip Morris and Walmart.  In its most recent fiscal year, Celadon earned $15.2 million on revenue of $568.3 million.

Earlier this week, parent Celadon Group Inc. said it plans to build a $5.25 million driver-training center and add 182 workers to its 633-employee local work force by 2016, according to documents filed with the city.
 

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