RIVERVIEW — Fast-growing BlueGrace Logistics on Monday announced that it has acquired crosstown rival Anthym Logistics.
The $80 million deal is BlueGrace’s largest acquisition since 2016, when it announced that a $255 million investment from New York private equity firm Warburg Pincus would provide capital to support its rapid growth.
Anthym was created last October through the merger of Atomic Transportation and Cousins Logistics. Like BlueGrace, Anthym has staff concentrated in Tampa and Chicago. It also brings a strong presence in refrigerated produce shipping, where BlueGrace says there is a growing demand.
"We are making a giant leap forward today that will ensure we maintain and even accelerate the momentum that we have developed over the last decade,” BlueGrace founder and chief executive officer Bobby Harris said.
Founded in 2009 with eight employees, BlueGrace now has about 600 staffers, nearly 60 percent of them in Hillsborough County. It will pick up another 55 employees through the merger, including Anthym chief executive officer Eddie Leshin, a 30-year veteran of the third-party logistics industry with experience at C.H. Robinson, Coyote Logistics and American Backhaulers. He will become a senior adviser to Harris at BlueGrace.
The merger is expected to build BlueGrace’s presence further in Tampa and Chicago and add new offices in Boca Raton and Birmingham, Ala., bringing its total number of U.S. locations to 15. In 2019, the company had more than $360 million in revenues, fueled by a 45 percent increase in the volume of truckloads it booked for shippers and their clients.
Harris is looking to continue BlueGrace’s expansion through both organic growth and other acquisitions.
“We’re always looking for the right partners," he said, adding that he’s “very bullish” on the prospects of finding other good companies this year.