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ABF Spurns Offer From YRC Worldwide

May 8, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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UPDATED---YRC Worldwide on Thursday released a statment confirming it had made a preliminary proposal to acquire Arkansas Best Corp. 

In response, President and CEO Judy McReynolds stated that she had shared the proposal and discussed it with the company's board of directors but declined to enter into talks with YRCW because "timing was not right to consider such a transaction."  

James Welch, chief executive officer of YRCW, said, "Our board and management believed then and believes now that the combination of Arkansas Best and YRCW would be in the best interests of all employees, customers and shareholders of both companies.  We remain committed to continuing the great strides we have made at YRCW."

No deal, said ABF to YRC's purchase offer.
No deal, said ABF to YRC's purchase offer.

On Wednesday DC Velocity reported ABF parent Arkansas Best Corp. disclosed that it turned down an offer to be purchased by YRC in late March. The offer included a meeting between YRC Worldwide CEO James L. Welch and  Arkansas Best President and CEO Judy McReynolds at Arkansas Best's headquarters in Fort Smith, Ark.

According to the story, Arkansas Best told YRC in early April that a "transaction with YRC was not appropriate at that time," said Arkansas Best in a statement to DC Velocity. ABF said it was too focused on contract negotiations with the Teamsters union, as well as "other strategic and operational initiatives" to seek an involvement with YRC at the time, according to the Arkansas Best's statement that DC Velocity obtained.

Since that time ABF and the Teamsters have successfully negotiated a tentative five-year labor pact that faces likely approval by ABF union workers. ABF reportedly accounts for about 80% of Arkansas Best's total revenues. 

One analyst, who did not wish to be identified, said he was not surprised by the move, considering the great consolidation of the union-organized LTL business in the more than 30 years since deregulation.

Just a few days ago YRC posted postive first quarter financials for the first time in several years.

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