J.B. Hunt to acquire Bassett Furniture subsidiary for $87M
Zenith Freight Lines LLC acquired
A subsidiary of Lowell, Arkansas-based transportation company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a subsidiary of Bassett-based home furniture manufacturer and marketer Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. for $87 million, the companies announced Monday.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ wholly owned subsidiary, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., will acquire Bassett Furniture’s wholly owned subsidiary, Zenith Freight Lines LLC, in a transaction expected to close by Feb. 28. J.B. Hunt will fund the transaction with its existing cash balance.
In the 2021 fiscal year, Zenith posted $87 million in revenue, with Bassett representing one-third of its business. Zenith is based in Conover, North Carolina and provides specialized less-than-truckload transportation services for furniture manufacturers and retailers. Zenith performs more than 250,000 moves annually and has about a million square feet of warehouse space.
“The sale of Zenith opens an exciting new chapter in our quest to provide the highest level of service to our customers,” Bassett CEO and Chairman Robert H. Spilman Jr. said in a statement. “As discussions with J.B. Hunt progressed, we came to understand the benefits that the scale of J.B. Hunt could provide in terms of equipment, technology, driver recruitment, intermodal transportation and warehousing density.”
Zenith founders Jack and Debbie Hawn will join J.B. Hunt, and Zenith will be part of J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services segment, which has 116 locations and more than 3.5 million square feet of warehouse and facilities space.
Upon the transaction’s close, the two parent companies will enter into a master services agreement in which J.B. Hunt will continue to provide Zenith’s service to Bassett for almost 50 years.
“This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality home furnishings and a leader in the industry,” J.B. Hunt President and CEO John Roberts said in a statement.