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Trailer-maker Wabash National buying Goshen manufacturer for $364M

August 9, 2017

Lafayette-based truck-trailer maker Wabash National Corp. announced Wednesday morning that it is buying Supreme Industries Inc., a truck-body manufacturer based in Goshen, for $364 million in cash.

Both firms are publicly traded. Wabash investors cheered the deal, sending its shares up nearly 4 percent. But the big winners were Supreme Industries shareholders, who are set to receive $21 for each of their shares—a 36 percent premium to where Supreme stock closed Tuesday.

"This acquisition ... accelerates our objective to transform our business into a more diversified industrial manufacturer,” Wabash National CEO Dick Giromini said in a statement.

Founded in 1974, Supreme is the second-largest U.S. manufacturer of truck bodies. It ranks as Indiana’s 36th-largest public company, according to IBJ research, with 2016 revenue of $299 million.

Founded in 1985, Wabash National bills itself as North America's leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems. It’s Indiana’s 15th-largest public company, with $1.8 billion in revenue last year.

Wabash National said it expects to generate $20 million in annual cost savings from the merger by 2021, “primarily driven by corporate and procurement expenditures, and operational improvement savings.” It did not detail how many jobs might be lost. Wabash has 5,100 employees, and Supreme has 1,450.

In a statement, Supreme CEO Mark Weber said: “Combining with Wabash will enhance our ability to innovate more quickly and create more value for customers.”

Wabash said the two companies together will be able to increase revenue faster than would have been possible had they remained standalone companies.

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