Wabash National to Buy Cargo-Tank Manufacturer Walker Group

The semi-trailer maker expects the $360 million all-cash deal to be 'immediately accretive to the company's net income.'

Wabash National Corp. said it has inked an agreement to acquire cargo-tank manufacturer Walker Group Holdings LLC for $360 million.

Wabash National, a Lafayette, Ind.-based manufacturer of semi trailers, expects the all-cash deal to close in the second quarter.

The company added in a news release that the acquisition likely will be "immediately accretive to the company's net income."

"[Walker Group] has a leading position in nearly every one of its product categories, well-known brands, strong customer relationships that span over decades, and high-margin products supported by industry-leading innovation and low-cost manufacturing," Wabash National President and CEO Richard Giromini said.

Indeed, Wabash National should gain some synergies through the deal, asserted trade journalist Charles Wilson in an article for Bulk Transporter, a sister publication of IndustryWeek.

"For instance, Wabash National recently began building frac tanks for oil and gas production, and Walker Group companies already manufacture a portfolio of aluminum and stainless steel tank trailers for the oilfield," Wilson wrote.

Giromini, in a news release, also noted that the two companies "share a strong cultural fit."

"We are particularly pleased to be adding a deep and talented team under the leadership of Doug Chapple," Giromini said.

Walker Group reported revenue of $344 million and adjusted EBITDA of $53 million for fiscal 2011.

For calendar-year 2011, Wabash National reported net income of $15 million on net revenue of $1.2 billion.

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