Celadon Wants to Meet, Talk Merger With USA Truck


Trucking company Celadon Group of Indianapolis said Tuesday in a regulatory filing that it has a 6 percent stake in USA Truck of Van Buren and is interested in possibly merging with the company.

In the filing, available here, Celadon said it had requested a meeting with USA Truck, a smaller competitor, "to discuss a possible association between Celadon Group" and USA Truck, "potentially including a combination of the two companies."

"Celadon Group's board of directors and management team believe the truckload industry offers consolidation and other strategic opportunities as successful companies seek, among other things, additional capacity and services for customers, more diverse routes for drivers, and greater value and liquidity for investors," the company said.

In a news release late Tuesday, USA Truck said its board of directors would consider Celdon's filing in "due course"  and that it does not "intend to comment further on this matter except as warranted by applicable laws and regulations."

In the filing, Celadon said it holds 658,000 shares, or about 6 percent, of USA Truck's common stock.

The filing sent shares of USA Truck (Nasdaq: USAK) up about 19 percent to $9.76 per share. Shares of Celadon (NYSE: %%CGI%%) up 5 percent to $9.76. 

In August, USA Truck President and CEO Cliff Beckham announced that the company was expecting a net loss for third-quarter 2011, pointing primarily to difficulties implementing new management software.

In July, the trucking company reported a return to profitability in the second quarter, but that profit was down 33 percent compared with the second quarter of 2010. 

Like others, the company has been battling a soft freight environment and a driver shortage.


For 2010, USA Truck reported revenue of $460 million. It has about 2,900 full-time employees, with 2,400 tractors and 6,700 trailers.

Celadon says it has annual revenue of more than $550 million. It claims about 4,000 employees and operates 3,300 tractors and 10,000 trailers.