The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It is expected to close April 30, pending approval from the board of Atlas Van Lines Inc., for which both Ace and Prairie are agents. Evansville, Indiana-based Atlas’ 500 North American agencies are individually owned and operated, and sometimes share services.
Prairie, which has about 20 employees, offers household moving, commercial relocation and storage services. Prairie will keep its branding for the time being, and all of its employees will be retained in the transaction, said Wade Bute, vice president of operations at Ace.
Ace provides home moving, corporate relocation, commercial services, specialized transport, lab/technology moving and government and military relocations. It was founded in 1946 in Rochester, Minnesota and moved to Milwaukee in 1956. It grew through military relocation and commercial shipping contracts.
The acquisition will expand Ace’s geographic footprint and offer increased market reach from a central location. Ace already has seven locations nationwide: two in Cudahy, two in Illinois and one each in California, Nevada and New Jersey. It has 260 employees and 65 contract drivers across the country.
Ace has a large customer in the Des Moines, Iowa area where Prairie is located, so it made sense to have a location there, Bute said.
“It’s a market that fits well with our model of servicing local and long-distance transportation and warehousing customers,” he said.