Wabash National to Buy Cargo-Tank Manufacturer Walker Group

March 29, 2012
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.

About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

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