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J.B. Hunt Acquiring Zenith Freight Lines for $87M

2 min read

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell is acquiring Zenith Freight Lines LLC of Conover, North Carolina, in a deal worth $87 million, the companies announced Monday.

Zenith, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. of Bassett, Virginia, provides specialized transportation services for furniture manufacturers and retailers in the U.S. With about 1 million SF in warehouse space, it facilitates more than 250,000 moves each year. 

The transaction will be funded using J.B. Hunt’s existing cash balance and is expected to close by Feb. 28, the company said in a news release. The companies will then enter into a long-term agreement under which J.B. Hunt will continue providing services Zenith had performed. 

J.B. Hunt said its Final Mile Services segment will grow as a result of the deal. It currently has 116 locations with more than 3.5 million SF of warehouse space. 

“This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide, end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality home furnishings and a leader in the industry,” John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt, said in the release.

Zenith posted revenue of $87 million for the fiscal year ending in November 2021. Bassett accounted for a third of its business. 

Zenith founders Jack and Debbie Hawn will transition to “key roles” with J.B. Hunt after the deal closes, the release says.

“The sale of Zenith to J.B. Hunt represents the culmination of our life’s work in the furniture transportation industry,” Jack Hawn said in the release. “Becoming a part of J.B. Hunt will advance the quality service we have established by providing scalable, efficient solutions to the furniture industry.”

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