Big G Express Acquires Ike Transportation

June 1, 2016

SHELBYVILLE, TENN.,--June 1, 2016--Big G Express, a 100% employee owned company, has announced the acquisition of Ike Transportation, a regional flatbed carrier headquartered in Murfreesboro, TN. Ike Transportation will be a subsidiary of Big G Express ESOP.
For 20 years, Ike has been specializing in the transportation of steel for a variety of industries in the southeastern United States, offering just-in-time deliveries and providing customers with unsurpassed service. Steve Rutledge and Steve Jones founded Ike Transportation in 1996 and consider themselves to be in the “people” business—treating employees and customers like family.
“Like Ike, Big G Express is a family oriented company,” Steve Jones said. “There were several other offers, but we chose to sell to Big G because we knew they shared the same values with a similar culture of teamwork and respect. Steve and I wanted to make sure our people were taken care of in the future, and Big G’s ESOP offered that security.”
“I see this acquisition as a catalyst for growth that will reinforce our commitment to customers in the markets we serve,” Steve Rutledge said. “Most importantly, the ESOP structure will reward employees for their dedication and hard work and support our “customer focused” culture.”
As a profitable and healthy company, Ike Transportation made sense for an acquisition by an ESOP company because their structure and culture fit well with Big G Express.
This acquisition will also help diversify the business functions at Big G Express, an OTR truckload carrier with 500 trucks and 1300 trailers.
“This move will benefit all our employee owners since we’re acquiring a strong business that has a solid record of growth and profitability. At the same time, we’re expanding our revenue stream and protecting ourselves from fluctuations in the market,” said Randy Vernon, president of Big G Express.
The transaction price is not disclosed, but Ike Transportation 2015 revenues were just shy of $9.7 million and they currently have 51 employees, 41 tractors, and 57 trailers. Ike will operate as a subsidiary of Big G Express, Inc. and employees will be part of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The current leadership of Ike, company founders Steve Jones and Steve Rutledge, will continue to function in their day-to-day roles and serve as President and VP of Sales and Development.
About Big G Express, Inc.:
Big G Express is a 100% employee owned, asset based, carrier providing truckload services to customers nationwide. Founded in 1995 by Jack and Pat Marsh, Big G Express became 100% employee owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in January 2009. An ESOP is a tax qualified employee benefit plan governed and regulated by United States law. The ESOP gives the employees of Big G
Express a beneficial ownership in the company. Employee owners have a real stake in the success of the company and work hard to increase efficiency and profitability. Operating 500 tractors and 1300 trailers, Big G has grown to over 630 employee owners and $95 million in revenues. Big G Express stock price has more than quadrupled in five years of employee ownership. Big G Express, Inc. is headquartered in Shelbyville, Tenn. with terminals in Deason, Tenn., Mt Juliet, Tenn., Russelville, Tenn. and Clarksville, Ind. www.biggexpress.com
About Ike Transportation, Inc.:
Ike Transportation is a regional flatbed company headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tenn., providing short haul service for over 20 years. Steve Rutledge and Steve Jones founded Ike Transportation, Inc. in 1996 with over 60 years combined years of transportation experience. Specializing in the transportation of steel for a variety of industries in the southeastern United States, Ike offers just-in-time deliveries and provides customers with unsurpassed service. www.iketrans.com

For more information contact Jodi Lamb at jodilamb@biggexpress.com

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