Austin Ventures has committed up to $75 million in equity capital for the formation of Avron Partners Inc., an acquisition platform focused on the supply chain services market. The effort will be led by Ronald Sorrow, former CEO of both RoadLink USA and CSX Intermodal.
Austin Ventures (“AV”), one of the nation’s leading venture and growth capital firms, announces the commitment of up to $75 million of equity capital for the creation of AVRON Partners, Inc., a new supply chain services acquisition and strategic business development company. The new organization has been formed in partnership with Ronald T. Sorrow, co-founder and former CEO of RoadLink USA and former CEO of CSX Intermodal. Mr. Sorrow will lead the new organization as its President and Chief Executive Officer. The new venture will concentrate on acquiring and strategically expanding companies within the supply chain services, transportation logistics, and distribution sectors.
“Ron is an outstanding executive who has demonstrated success in both large, corporate environments, and entrepreneurial ventures in the supply chain and logistics industry. We are excited to bring Ron’s experience and perspectives to our initiatives in this space,” said David Lack, AV Partner.
Mr. Sorrow has over 30 years of senior leadership experience in air express/air cargo transport, nationwide specialty and general commodity motor carrier operations, railroad intermodal services, and ocean cargo inland logistics. He has worked throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand markets during his career.
Most recently, Mr. Sorrow was a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of RoadLink USA, the nation’s largest provider of intermodal motor carrier and related logistics services with revenues in excess of $230 million. He led RoadLink USA from its creation in 2000 to its successful sale late in 2006. Under Mr. Sorrow’s leadership, eleven leading, regional, intermodal transport and logistics companies were acquired and integrated into the nation’s first and largest network of its kind. Mr. Sorrow designed and implemented the company’s strategic redesign, diversified and broadened the scope of the company’s services, and significantly improved revenue and profit results for the enterprise. Following the sale of RoadLink, Mr. Sorrow served as a Director on the Board and Vice Chairman of the company.
Prior to RoadLink, Mr. Sorrow served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Intermodal, Inc., the $1 billion intermodal rail, truck logistics and ocean cargo inland transport subsidiary of CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX). Mr. Sorrow was recruited to CSX in 1988 to help lead the creation of and manage the nation’s first nationwide, integrated intermodal rail-truck-ocean inland distribution network. During his early years at CSXI, he was the senior officer responsible for all marketing, sales, and strategy development as CSXI became the fastest growing and highest margin investment returns generator within the CSX portfolio of transportation companies. He was appointed CEO of CSXI in 1996 and served in that capacity through 1998.
“The partnership with Austin Ventures is a very unique opportunity,” said Mr. Sorrow. “AV has made a significant investment commitment to AVRON Partners. They also bring a deep understanding and successful track record of building a company’s long term operating success while simultaneously generating superior returns for the company’s investors and shareholders.”
Said AV General Partner Phil Siegel, “As with past CEO-in-Residence partners, our team will pursue opportunities to invest in successful business models where owners see the potential to accelerate their personal and enterprise’s growth opportunities by blending their knowledge and strengths with those of Ron and Austin Ventures. This has proven to be a winning combination in our previous executive relationships, and we look forward to working with founders who will be motivated by the opportunity to partner with Ron.”
AV’s relationship with Mr. Sorrow is part of a stated strategy to partner with talented executives with proven track records to build growth companies in attractive markets. AV has a dedicated in-house talent function that identifies executives that want a hands-on partner in building their next business. AVRON Partners will join AV’s portfolio of leading supply chain and logistics investments, which includes Newgistics, ReTrans and Port Logistics Group.
About Austin Ventures
Austin Ventures (“AV”) has worked with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies for nearly 25 years. With $3.9 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital and growth equity firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. With a focus on business services, information services, integrated media, computer and communications hardware, and enterprise software, AV invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 “planned experiments” in early stage ideas to $100+ million investments in expansion rounds, minority recapitalizations, and buyouts of middle market growth companies. Visit www.austinventures.com for more information.