Tampa, Fla.-based non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics announced this week it has acquired freight broker Anthym Logistics. This represents the company’s first external transaction since partnering with Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, in 2016, which was done to leverage investment capital to help drive growth for BlueGrace.
A purchase price was not disclosed.
Established in 2019, Anthym’s main offices are based in Tampa and Chicago. The company was the byproduct of a merger between Atomic Transportation and Cousins Logistics. Anthym’s leadership is spearheaded by Michael Redisch, Anthym Logistics Chief Strategy Officer, and Eddie Leshin, a 30-year 3PL veteran with experience at C.H. Robinson, Coyote Logistics, and American Backhaulers.
BlueGrace Logistics Founder and CEO Bobby Harris told LM that this acquisition would be best characterized as a phenomenal opportunity for BlueGrace and for Anthym.
“The transaction occurred very quickly, less than 90 days from the initial discussion to signing, which speaks to the agility of both companies and their senior leadership to prioritize strategic activities and move quickly to take advantage of them when they arise,” he stated.
Harris explained that BlueGrace is very excited about the synergies that come with Anthym Logistics, including:
“BlueGrace customers are now Anthym customers and vice versa,” said Harris. “The opportunities to cross-sell LTL and dry van services to Anthym’s produce and wholesale companies is significant, and BlueGrace has great expertise in LTL which is hard to build. Likewise, BlueGrace has existing opportunities across its customer base to add refrigerated truckload, which is a value-add capability that is difficult to sell. Both BlueGrace and Anthym will immediately benefit from these complementary specialties.”
When asked what the biggest competitive advantages of this deal are, Harris said it goes back to the people involved, coupled with BlueGrace having made significant investments in its two largest locations in Tampa and Chicago, with the intention og doubling the size of its staff in just a few years.
“We will reap significant leverage from consolidating offices and having all of these customer and carrier sales experts under one roof,” he said. “BlueGrace is gaining an incredible bevy of supply chain talent that would otherwise require many years to develop internally. We are making a giant leap forward today that will ensure we maintain and even accelerate the momentum that we have developed over the last decade.”
BlueGrace officials said that with Anthym in the fold, the company now will cover 15 regional and branch locations across the United States, while also adding that this development follows and exciting 2019, in which BlueGrace celebrated its ten-year anniversary, generated revenues over $360 million, and grew its full truckload shipments by more than 45%.
“We are extremely pleased to find a deeply experienced and trusted partner in BlueGrace to continue building value for our exciting roster of customers,” said Eddie Leshin, who will remain at BlueGrace and serve as a Senior Advisor to the CEO, in a statement. “With its best in class LTL expertise and well-respected managed transportation services platform, BlueGrace can offer the clients we have developed at Anthym Logistics a full suite of technology and reporting capabilities to help manage and grow their businesses.”
Ben Gordon, Managing Partner of Cambridge Capital, an investor in niche supply chain leaders and also Managing Partner of BGSA Holdings, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisory firm focused on the transportation, logistics, and supply chain technology sector, explained that the BlueGrace acquisition of Anthym reflects a few key issues.
“First, the M&A markets in logistics continue to be active,” he said. “The coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, supply chains will continue to get more efficient through consolidation. Second, BlueGrace is a private equity-backed logistics firm. PE firms will continue to deploy capital to support their portfolio firms and implement their M&A strategies. Third, this was a tuck-in acquisition. Tuck-ins are typically the easiest deals to integrate, because they combine a larger firm with a smaller firm, and leverage the infrastructure of the larger firm. I expect to see more of these kinds of deals.”