Harris Williams Advises Nolan Transportation Group on its Sale to Gryphon Investors

December 18, 2018

Harris Williams, a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide for more than 25 years, announces the sale of Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) to Gryphon Investors (Gryphon). NTG is one of the largest and fastest-growing non-asset freight brokerages in the United States. Ridgemont Equity Partners (Ridgemont) was a minority investor in NTG. The transaction, led by Jason Bass, Frank Mountcastle, Jeff Kidd, Jonathan Meredith and Justin Icardo of Harris Williams’ Transportation & Logistics (T&L) Group, extends the firm’s successful track record in the third party logistics sector.

NTG will operate as a sister company to Transportation Insight (TI), a leading non-asset provider of enterprise logistics and transportation brokerage services. Gryphon acquired TI earlier this year, a transaction for which Harris Williams served as the exclusive advisor to TI. NTG and TI will continue to be operated separately under a holding company structure, retaining their existing names and current management teams, while leveraging the services of each business to the benefit of the combined customer base. Together, TI and NTG will have current gross revenues of approximately $3 billion per year, and will be among the top-three independent freight brokerages and top-two enterprise logistics providers in the United States.

“It has been an honor to work with Founder Kevin Nolan and CEO Harold Baron and their team. NTG has one of the most unique cultures in the third party logistics industry and, with the support of Ridgemont, they have generated incredibly impressive results,” said Jason Bass, a managing director with Harris Williams. “The new partnership with Gryphon and a deep collaboration with TI will create one of the most powerful forces in the enterprise transportation management and truck brokerage marketplace.”

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with the NTG team on this transaction, which represents another marquee deal for the firm within the third party logistics space,” added Jeff Kidd, a director with Harris Williams. “NTG is a great example of why we believe the logistics space, and specifically the truck brokerage market, will continue to be a tremendous investment opportunity. Secular tailwinds, strong economic growth, as well as the significant market fragmentation make the third party logistics space ripe for continued M&A activity.” 

Founded in 2005, NTG is a market leader in truckload brokerage and third-party (3PL) logistics services, dedicated to delivering the highest level of service in the transportation industry. NTG offers a wide range of services for more than 6,000 customers across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company’s carrier base consists of approximately 40,000 independent carriers in facilitating the movement of its customers’ product. NTG specializes in both truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL), as well as expedited, partial, drayage, intermodal, rail and warehousing. NTG is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has 11 additional offices in the following cities: Alpharetta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Laredo, Texas and Denver, Colorado.

Ridgemont is a Charlotte-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested over $4 billion. The firm focuses on investments of $25 million to $150 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including business and industrial services, energy, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications.

TI is a multimodal, lead logistics provider with over $2 billion of annual gross revenues. For nearly 20 years, TI has partnered with manufacturers, retailers and distributors to achieve significant cost savings, reduce cycle times and improve customer satisfaction rates by providing customized supply chain solutions. TI offers a Co-managed Logistics® form of 3PL, carrier sourcing, freight bill audit and payment services, state-of-the-art transportation management system (TMS) applications, parcel technology platform (audit, engineering, advanced analytics) and business intelligence. Headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina, TI has secondary operating centers in Atlanta, Georgia; Bentonville, Arkansas; Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Omaha, Nebraska; Overland Park, Kansas and Salt Lake City, Utah and service centers in Canton, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina and St. Louis, Missouri.

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management teams. The firm has managed over $4.5 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $200 million in portfolio companies with sales ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon's capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.

Harris Williams (www.harriswilliams.com), a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:PNC), is a preeminent middle market investment bank focused on the advisory needs of clients worldwide. The firm has deep industry knowledge, global transaction expertise and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Harris Williams provides sell-side and acquisition advisory, restructuring advisory, board advisory, private placements and capital markets advisory services.

Harris Williams’ T&L Group serves companies in a broad range of attractive niches, including automotive and heavy duty vehicle, third-party logistics (3PL), truck, rail, marine and air transportation, and transportation equipment. For more information on the firm’s T&L Group and other recent transactions, visit the T&L Group’s section of the Harris Williams website.

Investment banking services are provided by Harris Williams LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd, which is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 5th Floor, 6 St. Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC and Harris Williams & Co. Ltd conduct business.