Chicago, IL – Cox Transportation Services (“Cox” or the “Company”), a leading provider of truckload freight services, announced a majority recapitalization led by Expedition Capital Partners, Tecum Capital, and Ironwood Capital. The three groups joined to back CEO Jay Smith in support of the company’s continued growth.
Established in 1982, Cox provides freight hauling and brokerage services to customers in a diversified group of industries across the U.S. The Company specializes in transporting time-sensitive full truckload freight on a local, regional and national basis. Cox also operates a brokerage division that serves carriers and freight customers with logistics optimization services. The Company is based in Ashland, VA. Adding additional assets to support growth with both existing and new customers, as well as acquiring attractive businesses with complementary routes and customer bases, represent the core of Cox’s strategic growth plans.
CEO Jay Smith stated, “I am thrilled to join with Expedition, Tecum, and Ironwood as we begin this exciting next phase of Cox’s growth in the coming years. We have numerous organic growth opportunities available to Cox with both existing and new customers. We also see significant opportunity for acquisitions where there are a number of highly profitable, synergistic targets that align well with our core competencies.”
“We are excited to partner with Jay, the entire Cox team, Tecum, and Ironwood Capital on this transaction, and we look forward to continuing to build on the success of Cox for many years to come,” stated Michael Hendrie, Managing Director of Expedition Capital Partners. “With Jay and his team now equipped with the necessary resources to drive growth, we’re very excited about the future of Cox.”
“After previously partnering with Jay in 2014 to finance his original acquisition of Cox, we couldn’t be happier to be backing him once again as we look to grow Cox into a substantially larger business,” stated Matt Harnett, Partner at Tecum Capital. “Our collective investment will provide Jay and his team the necessary capital they need to realize the substantial growth potential in their strategic plans.” Stephen Gurgovits, Jr., Managing Partner at Tecum Capital, stated, “We are excited to partner with Expedition, Ironwood Capital and Jay Smith as we collectively progress the Company through its next phase of growth. Jay Smith and the Cox team are well-positioned to build on their previous success and have a number of exciting organic and acquisition-based growth opportunities.”
“In the large, fragmented trucking industry, Cox stands out as a leader due to its long-standing commitment to customer service,” stated Dickson Suit, managing director at Ironwood Capital. “Cox is primed to take advantage of its position in the market and grow both organically and via acquisition, as we provide the business with the resources it needs to achieve its growth plans.”
The Deal Team from Tecum Capital consisted of Matt Harnett, Husnain Safdar, and Paul Oris. The Deal Team from Ironwood Capital consisted of Dickson Suit, Paul Witinski, and Tyler Klenk.
Truist Financial provided the senior debt financing and Marriott & Co. was the exclusive advisor for the Company.
About Expedition Capital Partners
Expedition Capital Partners (“ECP”) is an independent sponsor private equity firm focused on partnering with experienced operators to acquire and grow businesses in the middle and lower-middle markets. ECP’s equity funding partners have historically come from the private equity, mezzanine/equity, family office, and traditional LP landscapes. Since its inception, ECP has acquired 34 companies across five platform investments.
About Tecum Capital Partners
Tecum Capital is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based investment firm deploying private capital in lower middle-market companies. Tecum provides mezzanine debt and equity investments in growth-oriented middle-market companies across the broader high-value manufacturing, value-added distribution, and business services sectors, with a focus on opportunities that demonstrate strong long-term industry fundamentals, differentiated products or services, and identifiable secular growth tailwinds. Our team partners with independent sponsors, family offices, committed funds, business owners seeking succession plans, and management teams to create shared success. Tecum focuses on businesses with EBITDA greater than $2 million. Tecum seeks to invest $5 million to $20 million in potential portfolio companies. Tecum is a licensed Small Business Investment Company (“SBIC”) and is currently investing out of Tecum Capital Partners II, L.P, a $265 million fund launched in June 2017. Since 2006, the team has collectively invested more than $650 million in over 100 platform and add-on acquisitions. For more information, please visit www.tecum.com.
About Ironwood Capital
Ironwood Capital is a Connecticut-based private equity firm that provides non-control growth capital to middle-market companies. Its debt-oriented, national platform has invested more than $850 million in over 90 companies since 2001. Ironwood currently invests in the form of subordinated debt and minority equity in amounts ranging from $8 million to $25 million to support business owners and financial sponsors in growth financings, full and partial recapitalizations, generational transitions, and buyouts. For more information, please visit www.ironwoodcap.com.