Arkansas Best buys Panther Expedited for $180 million

Arkansas Best has closed on its $180 million acquisition of Panther Expedited Services, which will become a sister company to AB’s largest subsidiary, ABF Freight System.

The Arkansas transportation holding company announced the purchase June 15 of the Ohio-based company that described itself as “North America’s largest independent expedited transportation provider.”

Arkansas Best bought Panther, which leases 1,007 owner-operators, from the private equity firm Fenway Partners. The purchases price includes repayment of Panther’s outstanding debt of $100 million.

Panther will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Best, which operates 3,800 trucks. Andrew Clarke, Panther President and chief executive officer, will report directly to Judy McReynolds, Arkansas Best’s president and CEO. Panther’s other top executives are expected to continue in their current roles.

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