J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. will acquire the assets of Zenith Freight Lines LLC from Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. for about $87 million, according to a press release. J.B. Hunt will continue to service Bassett through Zenith following the deal.
Based in Conover, NC, and founded by Jack and Debbie Hawn, Zenith provides specialized LTL transportation services for furniture manufacturers and retailers in the continental United States. Following the acquisition, both founders will transition to key roles with J.B. Hunt to ensure a seamless integration with minimal impact on day-to-day service, the company announced.
Reports show that Zenith posted revenue of $87 million in the fiscal year ending November 2021, with Bassett representing one-third of its business. The transaction will be funded using J.B. Hunt’s existing cash balance and is expected to close by Feb. 28, 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
“This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide, end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality home furnishings and a leader in the industry,” J.B. Hunt Chief Executive John Roberts said.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on global supply chains for many industries, and the furniture industry has been one of the hardest hit, with some backlogs stretching to nearly a year. Consumers nationwide report average delayed furniture order delivery times of at least six weeks, in some of the best cases.
“Disruption caused by the pandemic aside, we believe that the consolidation of traditional specialized furniture transportation is inevitable,” Bassett Chief Executive and Chairman Robert H. Spilman Jr. said.
The acquisition will expand J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services® segment, which operates one of the largest nationwide, commingled cross-dock operations. With 116 locations and over 3.5 million square feet of warehouse and facilities space, Final Mile has the ability to serve 100 percent of the contiguous United States.