The implosion of less-than-truckload titan Yellow continues to gain steam, with the company’s vast portfolio of terminals and real estate attracting intense interest from competitors. This first phase of the terminal auction reaped $1.9 billion in sales across 130 properties – an astonishing figure signaling the feeding frenzy over these strategic assets.
XPO Goes Big With $870 Million Gambit
The heavyweight bidder was XPO Logistics, securing 28 terminals (two leased) at a whopping $870 million price tag. The global logistics powerhouse has been aggressively expanding its asset footprint, likely eyeing these properties to bolster its existing LTL capabilities and leverage the infrastructure. As one of the largest LTL carriers globally, XPO is positioning itself for significant network expansion.
Estes and Saia Lead the Mid-Size Charge
Beyond XPO, smaller carriers also took advantage of the unique opportunity. Estes Express Lines, which initiated the stalking horse bid, will obtain 24 terminals for $250 million. Meanwhile, the rapidly expanding regional carrier Saia accumulated 17 terminals in a $236 million offer. For Estes and Saia, these new terminals will considerably widen their operational networks as they scale up densities.
Major Carriers And Investors Circle The Remaining Properties
In addition to the above leaders, an array of other transport firms and real estate investors landed winning bids. Knight-Swift nabbed 13 terminals for $51 million, augmenting its 2021 LTL acquisition initiative, while the Moroun family secured 8 properties for $38 million through their real estate division Crown Enterprises. Other firms like Old Dominion Freight Line may still be lurking, ready to snap up the 46 owned yellow terminals still available, along with some leased locations up for grabs.
Yellow’s Vast Footprint And Assets Attract Plenty Of Interest
In total, this first round of bidding for Yellow’s terminals raked in over $3 billion collectively – an astonishing sum that continues to rise. The unwinding of this once-legendary company continues to gain momentum whether through terminals, tractors and trailers, or other assets. In fact, the auction of Yellow’s expansive fleet of 12,000 tractors and 35,000 trailers remains ongoing.
Aftermath Points To A Long And Messy Endgame
While carriers swoop in on real estate, the next phase will see Yellow sell off vehicles and other equipment. In total, liquidation proceeds are expected to eclipse the company’s $1.2 billion in secured debt and $200 million in bankruptcy financing. But a long road lies ahead, with unsecured creditors and pension funds needing to recover portions of their multi-billion-dollar claims. The eventual solvency payouts remain highly unpredictable.
The Sun Sets On An LTL Icon
Regardless of the final financial outcome, the dissolution of Yellow marks the end of a multi-generational icon. At its peak in the late 90s, Yellow commanded 15.5% market share, hauled in $3.7 billion in revenue, and employed over 30,000 team members. The company sat shoulder-to-shoulder with titans like Roadway and Consolidated Freightways who also met similar fates. While the name might carry forward under new ownership, we are witnessing the true sunset of a less-than-truckload pioneer.
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