Former XPO Chief Executive is Back in the Game at Magnate Worldwide

Posted in: Magnate News on 2015-02-17

Feb 16, 2015 – 12:00:00 PM | By Sean M. Lyden – Staff Writer

WANTED: Asset-Light Transportation and Logistics Companies.



These are the type of “acquisition partners” Mike Welch is on the hunt for as president of the newly formed Magnate Worldwide, a joint venture of Magnate Capital Partners and CIVC Partners LP.


The new entity has been established as a holding company to pursue acquisitions in the international freight forwarding and North American expedited transportation markets.


As many of our readers know, Welch has been a major player in expedited trucking. He started Express-1 in 1989 with two trucks and grew it into one of the top freight expediter firms in the nation before selling the company to Segmentz in 2004. About a year later, Express-1 was rebranded as XPO Logistics, and Welch continued to lead the company as CEO through 2011. With Welch at the helm, XPO grew from $40 million in revenues in 2005 to over $177 million in 2011, when he negotiated the sale of the company to Jacobs Private Equity.


Today, Welch and his team at Magnate Worldwide are actively reaching out to business owners in expedited transportation.


What exactly is Magnate Worldwide looking for in a potential acquisition partner?


“By ‘asset light,’ we mean that we focus on companies in the expedite or premium freight market that are comprised primarily of owner-operators, versus company-owned trucks,” Welch explains. “We’re not going to shy away if the company has a 125 units and owns 20 of them. We would still consider that ‘asset-light.’ But we certainly would want the majority of those units to be owner-operators.”


At least initially, Magnate is seeking companies with over 100 units leased. “We’ll start looking for smaller companies once we have a solid large ‘platform’ company in place,” says Welch.


Welch says his team is also looking for “a solid safety rating, good profitability, and history of consistent growth.”


The company’s culture is an important consideration, as well. “We look for enthusiastic people,” says Welch. “We look for owners who want to stay on and have fun growing their business. We want to have an atmosphere that we’re all in this together — to grow a very solid company in the future.”


A key benefit to Magnate partners is that they can consolidate their back-office operations (for weekend dispatch, safety management, receivable collections, etc.), which reduces their operational costs, while freeing them up to focus on their customer-facing operations that grow sales and profits.


Welch says the company hopes to make three to four acquisitions in the North American expedite transportation and international logistics markets by the end of the year.


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