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Mergers & Acquisitions

Ahern & Associates, Ltd. is a management consulting company specializing in the trucking industry and transportation industries. 100% of our practice is involved in:

  • Trucking company mergers
  • Trucking company acquisitions
  • Trucking company divestitures
  • Transportation company mergers
  • Transportations company acquisitions
  • Logistics company mergers
  • Logistics company acquisitions
  • Improving the operating efficiencies of trucking companies

In reference to trucking acquisitions, a Merger or Acquisition often represents a defining moment in a company's development. In spite of the importance of these transactions, the overall track record for business combinations has not been a resounding success.

Why do so many highly visible transactions fail to meet their stated objective of increasing shareholder value? How can management institute an acquisition program that avoids most common merger & acquisition mistakes?

Along with the reasons for the mediocre record of business combinations, a fairly common mistake is the trucking company buyer failing to establish a compelling strategic basis for making the acquisition.

Typically, acquisitions have a significant impact on the overall profitability and financial health of a corporation. Therefore, such transactions deserve the same thoughtful planning and execution as the introduction of a major new product, the building of a new plant, and/or the purchase of a major piece of equipment.

Ahern can assist a company in establishing those goals and objectives, so their acquisition will be a success instead of a failure.

With a proactive acquisition program, a trucking company is far more likely to avoid costly mistakes and will make business combinations contribute to the creation of shareholder wealth. Such a program, also gives management considerably greater control over the company's destiny.

An acquisition program should be viewed as a dynamic process. Objectives and goals can be modified in response to events as to the availability of relevant data, but actions are not dependent on those events. For a program to succeed, it must be proactive, yet under control. A successful acquisition program must also be an integral part of a company's overall strategic plan. Acquisitions can support a number of important strategic goals, including growth, diversification, product or market expansion and access to technology. Most failed acquisitions result from committing opportunity to drive strategy, rather than integrating acquisition decisions into an overall corporate strategy.

Due to Ahern's extensive experience, Ahern can assist in establishing a comprehensive acquisition program that will include:

  • Establishing responsibility at the policy level
  • Developing an acquisition plan
  • Defining an acquisition criteria
  • Identifying potential acquisition candidates and making effective contact with candidates
  • Establish a written due diligence process, outlining negotiating terms while preserving the benefits identified; to achieve the benefits through an effective post acquisition integration

Since Ahern & Associates is not a business broker or Investment Banker

  • We do not do contract negotiations
  • We do not provide due diligence
  • It's important to understand that Ahern & Associates, Ltd is not a business broker. They are not an investment banker, they do no contract negotiations or due diligence, but they can provide you with a road map on how to set up a team so that you can do it internally.

However, what Ahern does, is create a market for a customer that has a specific need. 95% of the trucking companies that Ahern contacts are not in the market to sell.

  • Ahern eliminates the accountants and the attorneys from the transaction, until such time that a letter of    intent is issued
  • Ahern pre-qualifies, from a pricing standpoint, without committing our customer to any purchase price
  • If an acquisition candidate believes that their company has substantially more value than Ahern's range of values, that acquisition candidate will never speak to Ahern's customer.

The value of Ahern & Associates is most often realized when the deal starts to fall apart. In most trucking acquisitions, the deal falls apart 6 or 7 times before our skilled consultants are able to provide alternatives to the buyer and seller that will solve and achieve both parties' goals and objectives. All of the above are integral parts of a successful acquisition program.

Considerations when looking at an acquisition:

  1. Reason for the acquisition:
    • To increase revenue and bring an economy of scale to increase profits
    • Fill backhauls to replace existing low paying freight
    • Increase driver base
  2. Revenue size
  3. Location
  4. Improve traffic lanes/patterns
  5. Additional infrastructure. Do you want management to stay?
  6. Do you want company drivers or owner/operators?
  7. Do you want to buy or lease equipment?
  8. Do you prefer a certain type of equipment?
  9. Do you want a profitable company or one that is losing money that can bring you an economy scale and possibly acquire for less money?
  10. Do you want to lease or buy the terminal of the selling company?
  11. 11. What type of carrier are you looking for? Flatbed, van, reefer, brokerage, logistics, etc.

For further information, please feel free to review Ahern's actual case studies in reference to the transaction process. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Testimonials
Dear Mr. Ahern,

Arkansas Transit Home, Inc. (ATH) was founded in 1958 by my late father, Wendell Chandler. In fact, to Illustrate how long that is got most trucking companies, our DOT number only has five numbers.

I would like to thank you Andy for making this very important and life changing event possible. It was a great experience.

Sincerely,
Dwight Chandler
President
Arkansas Transit Homes, Inc.

 

Dear Mr. Ahern,

We have worked with you and your colleagues at Ahern Associates for some time now. We find your expertise in the area of logistics (be it in consulting or based on being hired for acquisition analysis) to be out standing. We value the relationship and are very happy to give you this letter of reference..

You should feel free to have any party call us to discuss our experience.

Sincerely,
James M.Hill
Benesch Attorneys at Law

Dear Mr. Ahern,

England has been formally associated with Andy Ahern and his colleagues for approximately the past three years primarily in the area of acquisitions. During that period, we have experienced a professionalism that is refreshing. Andy offers in-depth expertise as well as industry knowledge born from extensive experience, a combination which adds material value well beyond a normal business relationship.

We anticipate a long Ė term, mutually beneficial association. It was a great experience.

Very truly yours,
Keith c. Wallace,Jr.
Senior Vice President / Chief Financial Officer
C.R. England, Ind

 

Dear Mr. Ahern,

Century Carriers, Inc. and its subsidiaries are family owned businesses that was started 1998. When the Transportation business was booming, times were great but, like other family owned businesses we didnít prepare for the economy the past year. My wife and I lost many hours sleep and made many calls to attorneys, banks, and whom ever would listen to our story trying to figure out how we were going to save our business for our future and our children.

Andy and his team has given us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are making progress, thanks again.

Sincerely,
Kevin Henderson, President/CEO
Century Carriers Inc. / Century Expedited Inc.

Dear Mr. Ahern,

Originally, I met Andy at a Truckload Carrier`s Conference during a round table discussion on the transition of family business. Andy was very knowledgeable about the topic and expressed many ideas that we hadn`t thought of. During the down turn of our industry in 2001, We called upon Andy, as a consultant, to help us understand how to turn our business around. We hired Ahern and Associates to come in and do businesses review. By giving us a road map to success with their intial audit, they helped turn our business around within thirty days.

Andy Ahern and Ahern & Associates have always delivered exactly what they have promised.

Sincerely,
Don Christenson, President
Christenson Transportation, Inc.

 

Dear Mr. Ahern,

We have thought about selling our business one day, but we really didnít know much about how to go about it. Your company contacted us a few months ago about a client of yours that was looking to buy businesses like ours. Now just a few months later, the sale is complete. Everything went very smoothly, Ahern was there to guide us through the beginning of the process. We are very happy with our whole experience with Ahern, especially Andy and Brian. They gave us personal attention any time we had questions or concerns.

Thank you,
John & Jennifer Rainney
DCT

Dear Mr. Ahern,

I wanted to thank you for your guidance, leadership and support. The professionalism and dedication of you and your staff is outstanding. The knowledge you posses of the transportation industry and its inner workings was been a huge asset to us in our time of transition. With your assistance we have been able to make significant changes within our company to improve structure and productivity. Aherns onsite visit and detailed evaluation of our company has been a very valuable tool. The outside look at how we do business and the suggestions you've made to improve our overall performance have been very valuable. All of your advice and direction has been thoughtful and caring, I feel that you truly care about our business and success. You've done everything you said you would do and then some, working with you and your dedicated staff has been a pleasure and will improve the productivity of our company. I look forward to a long relationship with Ahern and Associates.

Thanks again,
Dave Dean
Specialized Business Solutions. INC
Meridian, Idaho

 

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