The truck space is fragmented and one company that is looking to increase scale through M&A is Daseke Inc. (Nasdaq: DSKE). Daseke recently announced a merger with flatbed truck operator the Steelman Cos., marking its third deal in about two months.

Steelman, based in Springfield, Missouri, operates a fleet of more than 100 tractors and flatbed trucks. The company also owns Group One, which provides logistics, transportation and warehouse services for powersport trade shows. Steelman generated about $46 million in revenue and $7 million in adjusted Ebitda in 2016.

“We are creating scale in a trucking category that has never been created before. We're in a very fragmented part of the transportation industry. I think there will definitely be further consolidation in the space,” Daseke CEO Don Daseke told Mergers & Acquisitions. Addison, Texas-based Daseke has completed more than 11 acquisitions since 2008. Earlier in 2017, Daseke purchased competitors the Schilli Cos. and Big Freight Systems.

Daseke avoids companies that are for sale and competing in auction processes. “Our negotiations are not competitive. We want someone to really know us and we really want know them. We buy these companies to hold them permanently,” says Daseke.

According to Don Daseke, Daseke holds less than one percent marketshare of the open-deck truck segment, that is valued at around $133 billion. Open-decks are trucks that can be loaded from the top or side and usually transport heavy industrial and construction equipment. Demand for trucks that move construction materials are rising.

Daseke operates more than 3,500 tractors and 7,300 and open-deck trucks. Some of its main customers include Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE).

In other truck-related deals, Volkswagen bought a stake in Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV). And in 2016, Revelstoke-backed Transport Holdings acquired truck Provider Jones Motor Group.

Daseke

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