Gryphon Investors said Dec. 18 that it acquired a majority stake in Nolan Transportation Group. Financial terms weren’t announced. Gryphon portfolio company, Transportation Insight, also invested. Senior management at Nolan Transportation, including founder and chairman Kevin Nolan and CEO Harold Baron, will retain a stake. Nolan Transportation, of Atlanta, is a non-asset freight brokerage. Harris Williams was financial adviser, and Evershed Sutherland LLP was legal adviser to NTG. Sheppard Mullin acted as TI and Gryphon’s legal adviser, while North Inlet served as financial adviser.
Gryphon Investors and Transportation Insight Make Majority Investment in
Nolan Transportation Group
NTG Will Team with “Sister Company” Transportation Insight to Create a Market Leader in Non-Asset Transportation Services
December 18, 2018 (San Francisco) – Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Nolan Transportation Group (“NTG”), one of the largest and fastest-growing non-asset freight brokerages in the United States, in partnership with its existing portfolio company, Transportation Insight (“TI”). Senior management at NTG, including Founder and Chairman Kevin Nolan and CEO Harold Baron, will retain a significant ownership position in the combined company going forward. Similarly, Founder and Chairman Paul Thompson and the TI management team retained significant ownership at the time of Gryphon’s original investment in TI in August 2018. Charlotte-based private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners will exit its investment in NTG as part of the transaction. Additional terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, NTG is one of the leading and highest-growth freight brokers in the country, featuring a full suite of multimodal brokerage services (Truckload, Expedited, LTL, Drayage, and Intermodal, among others) and serving more than 6,000 customers across North America. NTG’s strong track record of delivering superior performance for both shippers and carriers, while delivering increased broker productivity, has been enhanced by its proprietary FreightHawk software platform.
NTG will operate as a sister company to Transportation Insight, a leading non-asset provider of enterprise logistics and transportation brokerage services. The two companies will continue to be operated separately under a holding company structure, retaining their existing names and current management teams, while leveraging the services of each business to the benefit of the combined customer base. Together, TI and NTG will have current gross revenues of approximately $3 billion per year, and will be among the top-three independent freight brokerages and top-two Enterprise Logistics Providers in the U.S. “We look forward to joining forces with Gryphon and Transportation Insight to increase our footprint, continue to grow our company, and better serve our customers,” said Kevin Nolan, Founder and Chairman of NTG. “This investment helps take us one step closer to becoming the leading freight brokerage platform in the industry,” he added.
Paul Thompson, Founder and Chairman of Transportation Insight, added that “Logistics and supply chain management remains a highly fragmented industry, with demand growth being driven by increased outsourcing of the transportation function, growing complexity of the supply chain, continued growth in e-commerce, and increased customer expectations. Larger outsourcing firms and brokerages will have a significant advantage as companies look to reduce costs and guarantee on-time deliveries. We have admired NTG’s management team and track record for operating performance for several years, and we are thrilled to join with NTG in bringing best-in-class solutions and service to businesses across North America.”
“NTG is a fast-growing company with an energetic, team-oriented culture in a sector that is experiencing strong demand, and we’re excited about the opportunity for NTG and Transportation Insight to create a market leader in the outsourced transportation services industry,” said Gryphon Partner Robert Grady, who serves as head of the firm’s Industrial Growth Group. “We are fortunate and delighted to be able to bring NTG into the fold so soon after making our investment in Transportation Insight. Our investment vision has from the start included the addition of a large brokerage operation to realize multiple strategic benefits, and this is a critical and exciting step in our journey to expand this platform.”
Harris Williams was financial advisor, and Evershed Sutherland LLP was legal advisor to NTG. Sheppard Mullin acted as TI and Gryphon’s legal advisor, while North Inlet served as financial advisor.
About Nolan Transportation Group
Founded in 2005, Nolan Transportation Group is a market leader in truckload brokerage and third-party logistics services, dedicated to delivering the highest level of service in the transportation industry. NTG offers a wide range of services for more than 6,000 customers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Our carrier base consists of approximately 40,000 independent carriers in facilitating the movement of our customers’ product. NTG specializes in both TL (“truckload”) and LTL (“less-than-truckload”), as well as expedited, partial, drayage, intermodal, rail, and warehousing. NTG is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and has 11 additional offices in the following cities: Alpharetta, GA, Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN, Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC, Grand Rapids, MI, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Dallas, TX, Laredo, TX and Denver, CO. NTG has ranked on the Inc. 500|5000 list for three years in a row (2015-2017) as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. For more information, visit www.ntgfreight.com.
About Transportation Insight, LLC
Transportation Insight is a multimodal, lead logistics provider with over $2 billion of annual gross revenues. For nearly 20 years, Transportation Insight has partnered with manufacturers, retailers and distributors to achieve significant cost savings, reduce cycle times, and improve customer satisfaction rates by providing customized supply chain solutions. Transportation Insight offers a Co-managed Logistics® form of 3PL, carrier sourcing, freight bill audit and payment services, state-of-the-art transportation management system (TMS) applications, parcel technology platform (audit, engineering, advanced analytics), and business intelligence. Headquartered in Hickory, NC, Transportation Insight has secondary operating centers in Atlanta, GA, Bentonville, AR, Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, Omaha, NE, Overland Park, KS and Salt Lake City, UT; service centers in Canton, OH, Charlotte, NC and St. Louis, MO. Transportation Insight has been recognized in the Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame, appearing on the Inc. 500|5000 list for 11 years straight. For more about Transportation Insight, visit www.transportationinsight.com.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management teams. The firm has managed over $4.5 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $200 million in portfolio companies with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.