The private equity firm Olympus Partners of Stamford, CT has finalized an agreement to acquire the assets of Heniff Transportation Systems (Heniff), the largest privately held tank truck carrier in the U.S. Olympus is a major equity partner of Heniff Transportation Systems, a leading bulk liquid transport company with specialized intermodal expertise. Long term, Heniff and Heniff — both with corporate offices located in Oak Brook, IL — will merge to form a single entity. The joining forces of these two highly-regarded industry leaders will create the most versatile bulk carrier network in the U.S.
Founded in 1940, Heniff operates two transportation companies: Superior Carriers, Inc., engaged in liquid and dry bulk distribution for international chemical manufacturers; and Carry Transit, Inc., which provides logistics solutions for food product companies. A subsidiary of Heniff established in 2016, Supernus Global Solutions, Inc., is a third-party logistics company offering brokerage and global supply chain management services.
The new Heniff/Heniff merger will combine 34 Superior and 21 Carry locations with Heniff’s 40 locations to provide a breadth of coverage to the U.S., Canada and Mexico unmatched by any single carrier. Historically, both Heniff and Heniff have offered a wide range of highly experienced trucking, transloading, tank washing, and intermodal services. With the new merger, it is anticipated that all these services will be expanded, with the combined fleet numbering approximately 2100 tractors and 5000 trailers. Heniff Transportation Systems is expected to provide especially deep expertise in ISO services, the result of its 2018 acquisition of Miller Transporters and Miller Intermodal Logistics Services and its affiliates.
“The history of Heniff Transportation Systems is one of building strength through growth,” stated Wes Stone, Heniff’s President and CEO. “This recapitalization will enable us to do more of the things we already do well, with an unchanging focus on supporting our extraordinary people in their efforts to deliver safe, environmentally responsible customer service. Going forward, we’ll more easily optimize forward-looking technology and innovation. Our stronger financial capability will have the potential to enhance employee career growth, leverage industry expertise, and create exciting opportunities to serve customers in new ways.”
In the immediate future, the two companies will continue to operate independently, and the current management will remain in place. Stone estimates that many employees may experience little direct change as a result of the recapitalization. “It’s likely that the biggest impact felt by most people will be the result of major initiatives already undertaken by Heniff in 2019 in dispatch, tank cleaning, driver training, and intermodal operations, ” he stated. “Fortunately, the corporate culture of Heniff and Heniff — a mutual dedication to safety, and to doing right by our people and our customers— is remarkably similar. We’ll continue these traditions, building strength upon strength, complementing our respective operations with newly shared capabilities and best practices. The primary initial difference in operations will be an enlargement of scale, a considerable expansion of our geographic reach.”
Following the 2017 death of Heniff’s founder, Vice Chairman and principal shareholder John J. Burns, Jr., and the subsequent 2019 passing of his wife Barbara, the Heniff Board of Directors decided that the long term prosperity and vision of the Company would be best safeguarded by making it available for acquisition. The Board is very pleased to be working with Olympus, whose partnerships with its enterprises are characterized by extensive industry knowledge and strong management support. Managed by ten general partners, the firm has grown over nearly 30 years to $8.5 billion in committed capital and has invested in more than 80 market leaders.