Air Cargo Management

Forward Air to merge with Omni Logistics

photo_camera Credit: Adobe Stock

Omni Logistics (Omni), a multimodal provider of air, ocean, and ground services, has announced its plans to merge with Forward Air Corporation (Forward), an asset-light provider of transportation services across the US, Canada and Mexico.

The agreement will see Forward and Omni combine in a cash-and-stock transaction, creating a joint company that generated approximately $3.7 billion of combined adjusted revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2023.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Omni is a private company that is majority owned by Ridgemont Equity Partners (Ridgemont) and EVE Partners (EVE), and delivers domestic and international freight forwarding, fulfilment services, customs brokerage, distribution, and value-added services for time-sensitive freight to US-based customers operating both domestically and internationally.

In a joint press release, the organisations state that their merger creates a scaled, premier, high-value, less-than-truckload (LTL) enterprise focused on providing customers with multimodal solutions for complex, high-service, and high-value freight needs. The combined company will expect to compete for an increasing share of high-quality freight transportation amidst a dynamic market in which customers are seeking a more reliable LTL solution.

The joint press release also explains that the combined company will benefit from a meaningfully enhanced financial profile, with higher growth and significantly increased revenue underpinned by numerous cost- and revenue-based EBITDA synergy opportunities. Both the Forward and Omni businesses have a proven track record of growth and will be defined by the combined company’s focus on customer experience and efficiency.

The integration of Omni’s commercial engine will provide Forward with access to more than 7,000 customers, an increased domestic footprint, and a full portfolio of essential logistics services, multimodal operations, and supply chain services. In turn, Omni’s customer base will benefit from Forward’s Precision Execution, which provides customers with the fastest transit times, best on-time performance, and low claims rates.

Tom Schmitt, chairman, president and chief executive of Forward, said: “The combination of Omni with Forward creates a company positioned to achieve the full potential of our LTL business, provide a broad offering of complementary services to our customers, and deliver meaningful value for our shareholders.

“Bringing together our organisations is a key stepping stone of the fourth and final phase of our Grow Forward journey to focus on high-value freight, develop an efficient operating network, implement strategic pricing discipline, and drive an expanded customer base. It accelerates our ability to make high-value, competitively priced freight accessible to more customers, all of whom will benefit from Forward’s renowned Precision Execution.

“Importantly, Forward and Omni already share a relentless focus on delivering best-in-class service to our customers, and we are excited to advance that reputation together. We also believe the combination will allow us to unlock significant growth through enhanced scale, execution, and operational synergies. We look forward to benefitting from Omni’s unique capabilities and expertise and to bringing even greater value into the expedited freight marketplace.”

Craig Carlock, lead independent director of Forward, said: “By uniting these two complementary businesses, the combined company will be well-positioned to meet the unique and evolving needs of a diverse and growing customer base while delivering enhanced value for our shareholders.

“We are eager to welcome J.J. Schickel as president and a member of our board following transaction close and expect to benefit from his insights both as a Forward customer and operator. The Forward Board is confident in the value potential inherent in this combination and excited for the benefits it will bring to our key stakeholders.”

J.J. Schickel, chief executive of Omni, said: “Omni has a proven track record of solving highly complex supply chain challenges through deep industry expertise, advanced proprietary technology, and a multi-disciplinary commercial engine that delivers bottom-line value to customers.

“We are excited to have found in Forward a like-minded partner who shares our commitment to strong customer relationships and unrivalled service, central tenets of our success in growing our customer base from 300 to 7,000 over the last five years. I am very proud of what Omni accomplishes daily for our customers and am thrilled to bring our companies and teams together to achieve the full potential of our combined force.”

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