Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. sold its QuadExpress third-party logistics business to Mullen Group Ltd. for $40 million, the companies announced Wednesday.
QuadExpress is a Naperville, Illinois-based division of Quad that generated around $135 million in revenue in 2020. It is a non-asset based third-party logistics provider that offers freight brokerage services across multiple modes of transportation to around 1,700 North American customers using more than 6,000 transportation companies.
Quad acquired the company, previously known as QWExpress, in 2010 as part of its Worldcolor acquisition and made strategic investments in it over the years, including the creation of a proprietary transportation management system that streamlines quotes, orders, shipment racking and reporting.
Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Quad, said the company continues to evaluate its collection of assets to focus on value creation and strategic fit. Quad has made several divestitures in recent years after the U.S. Department of Justice sought to blocks its effort to acquire LSC Communications. Those sales have included its $200 million book business, also acquired in the Worldcolor deal, a packaging plant in Nebraska focused on folding cartons and a heavy-duty industrial wood crating business in Franklin.
Quad plans to use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt.
“As a marketing solutions partner, we are committed to providing the greatest value to brands and marketers, which we do through our unique integrated marketing solutions offering that reduces complexity, increases efficiencies and improves marketing spend effectiveness across all media channels,” Quadracci said. “We are pleased to find a great buyer for our 3PL business. We know QuadExpress will benefit from being part of Mullen Group, which is a like-focused company dedicated to superior logistics services.”
Quad will continue to own and operate its in-house transportation and logistics division, Quad Transportation Services, and its trucking division, Duplainville Transport.
QuadExpress will serve as the preferred broker for Quad Transportation Services. The deal includes an agreement for Quad to use QuadExpress for certain third-party logistics needs for the next 24 months.
Based in Alberta, Canada, Mullen Group is one of Canada’s largest logistics providers and offers services in less-than-truckload, truckload, warehousing, logistics, transload, oversized and specialized hauling transportation.
“We already have an extensive network in Canada and will continue to invest where we find great companies to add to our service offerings. However, there are limits to just how much we can grow in the Canadian market,” said Murray Mullen, chairman, president and CEO of Mullen Group. “The U.S. market, on the other hand, is a new market for our company, offering tremendous opportunity. There is no doubt the U.S. market is key to the North American supply chain and we need to be there. With this acquisition we gain immediate access to one of the largest markets in the world."