By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor · March 10, 2020
Tampa, Fla.-based non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics announced this week it has acquired freight broker Anthym Logistics. This represents the company’s first external transaction since partnering with Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, in 2016, which was done to leverage investment capital to help drive growth for BlueGrace.
A purchase price was not disclosed.
Established in 2019, Anthym’s main offices are based in Tampa and Chicago. The company was the byproduct of a merger between Atomic Transportation and Cousins Logistics. Anthym’s leadership is spearheaded by Michael Redisch, and Eddie Leshin, a 30-year 3PL veteran with experience at C.H. Robinson, Coyote Logistics, and American Backhaulers.
BlueGrace Logistics Founder and CEO Bobby Harris told LM that this acquisition would be best characterized as a phenomenal opportunity for BlueGrace and for Anthym.
“The transaction occurred very quickly, less than 90 days from the initial discussion to signing, which speaks to the agility of both companies and their senior leadership to prioritize strategic activities and move quickly to take advantage of them when they arise,” he stated.
Harris explained that BlueGrace is very excited about the synergies that come with Anthym Logistics, including:
Geographically, BlueGrace can quickly and easily absorb the Anthym employees in Tampa and Chicago, thereby realizing the cost savings on excess office leases;
BlueGrace is historically an LTL company, with enormous plans in truckload. Anthym adds significant refrigerated truckload (“reefer”) capacity into the BlueGrace carrier network, along with the customer sales expertise in produce; and
Hiring talented sales people in transportation isn’t easy. By acquiring Anthym, BlueGrace will gain access to a treasure trove of highly respected logistics industry leaders, including Jonathon Swart, Michael Redisch, and most importantly, the Anthym CEO, Eddie Leshin. Mr. Leshin is extremely well know in the 3PL world and has deep supply chain connections
“BlueGrace customers are now Anthym customers and vice versa,” said Harris. “The opportunities to cross-sell LTL and dry van services to Anthym’s produce and wholesale companies is significant, and BlueGrace has great expertise in LTL which is hard to build. Likewise, BlueGrace has existing opportunities across its customer base to add refrigerated truckload, which is a value-add capability that is difficult to sell. Both BlueGrace and Anthym will immediately benefit from these complementary specialties.”
When asked what the biggest competitive advantages of this deal are, Harris said it goes back to the people involved, coupled with BlueGrace having made significant investments in its two largest locations in Tampa and Chicago, with the intention og doubling the size of its staff in just a few years.
“We will reap significant leverage from consolidating offices and having all of these customer and carrier sales experts under one roof,” he said. “BlueGrace is gaining an incredible bevy of supply chain talent that would otherwise require many years to develop internally. We are making a giant leap forward today that will ensure we maintain and even accelerate the momentum that we have developed over the last decade.”
BlueGrace officials said that with Anthym in the fold, the company now will cover 15 regional and branch locations across the United States, while also adding that this development follows and exciting 2019, in which BlueGrace celebrated its ten-year anniversary, generated revenues over $360 million, and grew its full truckload shipments by more than 45%.
“We are extremely pleased to find a deeply experienced and trusted partner in BlueGrace to continue building value for our exciting roster of customers,” said Eddie Leshin, who will remain at BlueGrace and serve as a Senior Advisor to the CEO, in a statement. “With its best in class LTL expertise and well-respected managed transportation services platform, BlueGrace can offer the clients we have developed at Anthym Logistics a full suite of technology and reporting capabilities to help manage and grow their businesses.”
March 10, 2020