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Warehousing

Bison Transport Sold to Canada’s James Richardson & Sons

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Bison Transport Inc., one of North America’s largest diversified fleets that has been in an expansion mode over the past few years, announced it was acquired by privately held James Richardson & Sons for an undisclosed amount, effective Jan. 1.

Bison’s senior management will continue to lead the company, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Bison is a unit of Wescan Capital Inc. Duncan Jessiman founded the motor carrier in 1969. Bison has expanded to 3,700 employees and contractors operating a fleet of 2,100 tractors and 6,000 trailers throughout North America.

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Its affiliated companies include: H.O. Wolding Inc., a U.S.-based dry van fleet, acquired in 2019; Searcy Trucking; and Britton Transport that added in 2019 two Iowa-based companies — Ace Logistics, a transportation logistics provider specializing in refrigerated freight, and C&C Realty, a warehousing facility offering dry, cool and frozen warehousing and cross-docking.

Bison Transport ranks No. 56 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

Its revenue increased to $633.8 million in 2019 compared with $423.4 million in 2016.

Established in 1857, James Richardson & Sons is a private, family-owned and operated corporation involved in global agriculture and food processing, as well as energy exploration, transportation and marketing, financial services, insurance and real estate. It also is headquartered in Winnipeg.

It has 2,600 employees and assets and operations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Richardson began as a one-man grain merchandising operation in Kingston, Ontario. The company said it had been a “long-time admirer” of Bison.

Don Streuber, Bison’s chairman, said in a release that the transaction is “a made in Manitoba, family-to-family transition of a great Canadian success story that has many future chapters yet to be written.”

Bison CEO Rob Penner has been with the company 30 years. “As I take a moment to reflect, I take great pride in what we have accomplished here as a team on behalf of the Jessiman family,” he said. “Having said that, I think that takes a second seat to the renewed energy and excitement I have for our future as part of the James Richardson & Sons group of companies. I feel great that the business I have had a part in building has secured its future with such a great organization,” he said.

Wescan Capital Inc. is the privately owned holding company of the Jessiman family. Following its disposition of Bison Transport and its affiliated companies, Wescan will continue to be active in real estate ownership and management.

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