USA Truck Inc. of Van Buren has rejected a takeover offer by Knight Transportation of Phoenix, which offered $9 per share in cash for the company in August. And now Knight is taking the offer straight to shareholders.
In a news release, publicly traded Knight said its takeover offer is worth $242 million, including an equity value of USA Truck at $95 million and $147 million in company debt. It said the $9 per share price represents a “significant premium” of about 39 percent to USA Truck’s Wednesday closing price, and 50 percent premium over the company’s average closing price for 10 days before the proposal was announced.
Shares of USA Truck (Nasdaq: USAK) closed up 9 cents to $6.46 per share on Wednesday. On Thursday, shares rose more than 40 percent to $9.10 per share. Shares of Knight (NYSE: KNX) rose 7.5 percent Thursday to around $17.18.
“We are confident that USA Truck shareholders will share our strong belief that Knight’s $9.00 per share all-cash, premium proposal would provide significant and immediate cash value that is significantly more attractive than USA Truck’s standalone prospects,” Kevin Knight, Knight’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release.
“For Knight’s shareholders, we are confident that a combination with USA Truck would create value by further enhancing our position as a leading provider of multiple truckload transportation services in North America. Today Knight is well positioned to gain market share by leveraging our services, technology, relationships and service center network, and we are confident that the proposed transaction would further accelerate our growth.”…. more