Ridgemont Equity to acquire, merge Worldwide Express with Unishippers Global

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Ridgemont Equity Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Worldwide Express from affiliates of Quad-C Management, and as part of the transaction, will merge its portfolio company, Unishippers Global Logistics, with Worldwide Express to form a new entity called Worldwide Express Global Logistics, the company said.

Ridgemont will be the lead equity sponsor, alongside certain co-investors, affiliates and members of executive management. The transaction has received HSR approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Worldwide Express and Unishippers are both non-asset based third party logistics providers to small and medium sized businesses. The companies offer a diverse suite of freight solutions including small parcel, less-than-truckload, truckload, and air freight services through a number of strategic national and regional carrier relationships. Worldwide Express Global Logistics will have a network of 308 offices across the United States, including both company-owned and franchise locations, serving over 90,000 customers.

Current CEO of Worldwide Express, Tom Madine, will lead the combined business. Kevin Lathrop will continue to lead Unishippers, with members of the executive teams of both companies playing key roles on the combined executive team going forward.

Fidus Partners and Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisors to Worldwide Express and Quad-C. Piper Jaffray & Co. served as financial advisor to Unishippers. White & Case LLP served as legal advisor to Quad-C. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Ridgemont. Antares Capital and Deutsche Bank are serving as joint lead arrangers on the debt financing, with Antares Capital leading the 1st lien facilities and Deutsche Bank leading the 2nd lien. Citizens Financial Group is a joint arranger of both facilities.

Ridgemont Equity Partners is a middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested over $3.5 billion in 135 companies. The firm focuses on investments of $25 million to $100 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including basic industries and services, energy, healthcare, and telecommunications/media/technology.