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Corporation
AUTOMOTIVE & TRANSPORTATION | Transportation Services / Logistics services
watkins.com

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Portfolio Exits

1

About Watkins Associated Industries

Watkins Associated Industries provides temperature control, dry products, regional, inter-regional, and shuttle transportation services; cargo care services; and logistics brokerage services. The company provides dry van logistics services for textile and clothing manufacturers, electronics firms, personal care products, chemical companies, pharmaceuticals, and retail chains; and less-than-truckload/truckload/international parcel, bulk chemical, and intermodal logistics services. It also offers lease purchase programs.

Watkins Associated Industries Headquarter Location

1120 W. Griffin Road

Lakeland, Florida, 33805,

United States

863-688-1948

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Latest Watkins Associated Industries News

FreightWaves Haul of Fame: Watkins Motor Lines grew for decades

Apr 15, 2021

FreightWaves Haul of Fame: Watkins Motor Lines grew for decades ...and then sold a major piece of the company to FedEx A Watkins Motor Lines truck moves down the road. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves) Bill Watkins founded Watkins Trucking in 1932 when he purchased the first Watkin’s truck – a red three-quarter ton Dodge pick-up. Watkins purchased the truck using $300 that he had earned working on his family’s farm in Metcalf, Georgia. The very first run Watkin’s made was to Jacksonville, Florida hauling his own chickens. He then completed his first long-haul with service to Norfolk, Virginia. The company grows bigger Watkins grew the company by buying, selling and hauling produce, peanuts, pecans, cottonseed meal, hay and corn as a private exempt carrier. Before long, he had grown his fleet to six trucks, operating from the Thomasville, Georgia Farmers’ Market as the company’s base of operations. In those days, the company used the name Watkins Produce Company. By 1950, Watkins realized he would need to set up a business that required operating authorities, and Watkins Motor Lines was born. The company petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for the authority to haul frozen citrus concentrates. Watkins Motor Lines was a refrigerated carrier. A Watkins cab-over tractor and two of the company’s dry vans. (Photo: Gary Morton Collection) In 1959, Watkins formed a new subsidiary. Arctic Express Inc embarked on its inaugural trip to Alaska from Minneapolis in December of that year. The founding of this subsidiary expanded Watkins Motor Lines’ reach from Laredo, Texas to Kenai, Alaska, the longest distance in the United States. In 1963, the company’s holdings expanded further when it acquired Highway Transport, Inc., a petroleum and bulk carrier based in Knoxville, Tennessee. A trucking empire By 1971, Watkins was operating routes across the continental United States  By 1981, Watkins Motor Lines was primarily a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier. The company operated under parent company Watkins Associated Industries Inc., which also had businesses involved in construction and seafood processing. In the 1980s, Watkins Motor Lines management decided to spin off its truckload and refrigerated segments into a new company under Watkins Associated Industries. This new company was christened Land Span. In 1997, it acquired Sunco Carriers, Inc., whose business was in refrigerated truckload. The refrigerated business of Land Span was rolled into Sunco’s operations. Land Span’s dry van business continues today, unaffiliated with Watkins. By 1997, Watkins Motor Lines accounted for approximately 75% of the revenue for the family of companies and it had grown to over 8,000 employees. In 1999, Watkins Motor Lines was the nation’s ninth largest LTL carrier of general commodities. A Watkins patch (Dale Bridge collection) Growing into a new century By 2000, Watkins Motor Lines had 130 terminals. The company continued to grow through the early 2000s, establishing a regional overnight LTL delivery component called Watkins Regional Express. Following this, regional hubs were opened in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and where it all started, Thomasville, Georgia. Breaking up the company In 2006, Watkins sold the assets and the LTL business to FedEx in a $780 million cash transaction. Land Span was sold to Celadon in 2012. Now, Watkins Refrigerated, all that is left of the LTL enterprise of the past, provides service to regional and interregional markets in the eastern United States. In December 2016, Lakeland, Florida-based Sunco Carriers, which did business as Watkins Refrigerated, was acquired by private equity firm KJM Capital. Watkins Refrigerated operated primarily in the Southeast with a fleet of more than 200 tractors and 400 reefer trailers. A Land Span tractor-trailer on the highway. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves) A sad ending Watkins Refrigerated LLC filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 27, 2019, in the Middle District of Florida. That marked the end of a company that had lasted nearly 90 years and had seen many “ups” and a few “downs.” A Watkins patch that highlights its refrigerated business. (Patch from the Dale Bridge Collection) Tags

Watkins Associated Industries Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Watkins Associated Industries has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was Watkins Refrigerated on December 06, 2016.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

12/6/2016

Acq - Fin

1

Date

12/6/2016

Exit

Acq - Fin

Companies

Valuation

Acquirer

Sources

1

Watkins Associated Industries Acquisitions

2 Acquisitions

Watkins Associated Industries acquired 2 companies. Their latest acquisition was Lexington Manufacturing on January 08, 2019.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

1/8/2019

Acquired

2

1/2/1997

Acquired

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$99M

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10

Date

1/8/2019

1/2/1997

Investment Stage

Acquired

Companies

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Valuation

Total Funding

$99M

Note

Acquired

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Sources

2

10

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