C.H. Robinson to Buy Chicago Freight Services Co. for $635M

C.H. Robinson to Buy Chicago Freight Services Co. for $635M

Phoenix International is the second company that C.H. Robinson has agreed to buy this month.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Chicago-based freight services company Phoenix International, Inc.,—marking the Eden Prairie-based transportation and logistics company’s second acquisition announcement this month.

C.H. Robinson will pay $635 million for Phoenix: $571.5 million in cash and approximately $63.5 million in newly-issued C.H. Robinson stock. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Phoenix is a privately-held freight forwarder—a company that specializes in arranging storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of manufacturers. It has approximately 15,000 customers across the globe and employs roughly 2,000 in 76 offices located in 15 countries. It generated $807 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended in June.

C.H. Robinson, meanwhile, is a logistics provider whose services include freight forwarding and supply-chain management. It also packages and distributes fresh produce and provides technology related to freight management. The company said that the acquisition will strengthen its international freight-forwarding business and expand its market share.

“We see significant long-term opportunity in international forwarding,” C.H. Robinson Chairman and CEO John Wiehoff said in a statement. “As global trade expands, scale and technology continue to become more important, and shippers increasingly look to transportation providers to provide global services.”

In a Tuesday morning conference call, Wiehoff said that the company expects “no meaningful people reductions” as a result of the acquisition.

Meanwhile, key Phoenix executives will assume management positions with C.H. Robinson, including Phoenix CEO Stephane Rambaud, who will lead the combined international freight forwarding business of C.H. Robinson and Phoenix. Bill McInerney, who founded Phoenix in 1979, will retire after the deal closes, C.H. Robinson said.

Earlier this month, C.H. Robinson agreed to acquire another freight-forwarding company: Warsaw, Poland-based Apreo Logistics, S.A. Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed.

C.H. Robinson is among Minnesota’s 15-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $10.3 billion in 2011.