Carlyle drives deal to purchase vehicle logistics firm

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Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ: CG) has acquired United Road Services, a provider of vehicle transport and logistics services, from Charlesbank Capital Partners.

Founded in 1998, United Road manages the transport of more than three million vehicles in North America. Headquartered in Romulus, Michigan and with service centers across the U.S. and Canada, the company has 1,700 employees and manages more than 6,000 owned and contracted vehicle carriers.

United Road’s 10,000-plus customers include all of the major vehicle manufacturers, remarketers, financial institutions, car auctions, car dealers, rental companies and on-line sales organizations. Its patented OVISS logistics system provides efficient routing, loadbuilding and real-time order visibility for its clients.

Since 2012, United Road has diversified and expanded its customer base, added to its vehicle transport fleet and built-out its network of owner operators and third-party carriers. These efforts will be enhanced “by Carlyle's deep transportation experience and network,” according to Carlyle managing director Adam Glucksman, “which we believe will contribute meaningfully to United Road's continued growth trajectory."

"The Carlyle Group's global reach and expertise coupled with its reputation for helping companies thrive, makes it an exceptional investor partner for United Road," added Kathleen McCann, CEO of United Road Services.

The transaction’s financial details were not disclosed, but the deal’s equity came from Carlyle Equity Opportunity Fund II, a $2.4 billion fund that invests in U.S.-based middle-market companies. The seller, Charlesbank, purchased United Road in 2012 and helped the company more than double its fleet from 1.5 million to 3.5 vehicles, during the past five years.

The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $170 billion of assets under management across 299 investment vehicles as of June 30, 2017. Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $3.4 billion of capital.

With demand for vehicle logistics and delivery services growing rapidly, the market has been generating growing activity among middle-market dealmakers. Recently, private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. announced an agreement to sell logistics company Newgistics Inc. to Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) for $475 million.

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