O&S Trucking files Chapter 11, asks court to OK affiliation with Prime

Jill Dunn | June 05, 2012

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, O&S Trucking will make its case before the court June 5 to grant it the privilege to a business relationship with fellow truckload carrier Prime Inc.

The two Springfield, Mo., companies had reached an agreement before O&S filed its May 30 petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri. The court has granted the O&S emergency motion to expedite the hearing to affiliate with the 4,000-truck Prime.

Last month, O&S principal Jim O’Neal stepped down during his second term as Springfield mayor after stating business and personal issues required his full attention, according to city council meeting minutes.

The owner of the 300-truck refrigerated carrier also resigned recently as an American Trucking Associations vice chairman. O’Neal had served as the 2007-2008 Truckload Carriers Association chairman, a position Robert Low, president of Prime, assumed last March.

The Chapter 11 petition lists equity security holders as O’Neal, with 142,000 shares, and the 31-year-old company’s employee stock ownership trust, which has 79,403 shares. It estimated its liabilities to be $10-$50 million and assets to be less than $50,000.

The affiliation the companies want approved would allow O&S to retain 80 percent of its revenue, but use Prime’s buying power for fuel and rolling stock. It would grant O&S access to Prime’s rolling stock and additional freight business from the larger company’s customer base. Prime would assume administrative, accounting and marketing functions.

If approved, the agreement would provide O’Neal a 3 percent commission for O&S revenue generated the first year, 2 percent in the second year and 1 percent in the third year.

The court has scheduled a July 18 meeting for O&S creditors.