Western Express to acquire Smithway for $90 million


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Western Express and Smithway Motor Xpress, two truckload carriers that haul diversified freight nationwide, announced agreement March 23 on a plan for Western to acquire Smithway for $90 million.

The agreement, approved by both boards of directors, is structured as a merger, whereby Smithway will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western. The deal is expected to close in summer 2007, subject to approval by Smithway's stockholders and other customary closing conditions.

The acquisition is expected to build upon Western's established dry van operation by combining the dry van operations of both companies. Additionally, Smithway's flatbed operation is expected to offer Western the market presence and reputation to make the combined flatbed operation a force in the industry.

The combined companies would operate about 1,600 tractors in dry van operations and 1,400 tractors in flatbed operations. Smithway's senior management team and employees are expected to remain at Smithway.

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