USA Truck, Knight Transportation Trial Set for April 14

A U.S. District Court judge has set a trial date of April 14 in USA Truck Inc.'s breach of contract lawsuit against Knight Transportation Inc., the company that is attempting to take over USA Truck.

Judge P.K. Holmes set the date on Monday (PDF).

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 10 in Crawford County Circuit Court, alleges that Knight "improperly" used USA Truck's confidential information "to begin a creeping hostile acquisition of USA Truck at a price that the Board has unanimously concluded does not reflect the Company's full intrinsic value," according to USA Truck.

The lawsuit seeks to require Knight "to restore a level playing field" by divesting the USA Truck shares that USA Truck says Knight acquired in violation of the confidentiality agreement. Since making its takeover offer public, Knight has increased its stake in USA Truck to more than 12 percent from 8 percent.

Knight has said there is no merit to USA Truck's claims.

Knight revealed in September that it had offered USA Truck $9 per share in cash for the company in August. USA Truck rejected the offering, saying it undervalued the company. Knight then decided to take the offer straight to shareholders.

Shares of USK Truck have increased in value since the takeover offer was made public and USA Truck reported improved quarterly results. Shares of USA Truck (Nasdaq: USAK) were trading flat on Tuesday at about $14.33 per share.