Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Yellow's $45M deal puts plan for China into a higher gear

Yellow Roadway Corp. will spend $45 million to buy a 50 percent stake in a Chinese freight-forwarding business.
Overland Park-based Yellow said June 17 that it and Shanghai Jin Jiang International Industrial Investment Co. Ltd. would be equal partners in Shanghai-based freight-forwarding company JHJ International Transportation Co.
The joint venture is subject to approval by the government and is expected to close in the fall. It will include equal board membership from Jin Jiang and Yellow Roadway.
Although excited about the JHJ venture, Yellow Roadway CEO Bill Zollars said the company would continue to look for a Chinese trucking company to add to its portfolio, as well.
"Part of our strategy will still be to look for an opportunity in the ground transportation area in China," he said. "But what this (JHJ venture) does for us is it raises our profile there and gives us more scale and a chance to learn as we go."
He said he did not have a timeline for adding wheels on the ground in China, adding that "we're trying to be careful with every step we take in China."
Zollars said in May that he wanted to acquire a trucking company in China this year. The plan, he said then, was to start small in the Shanghai region, supporting big customers that Yellow serves in the States.
In March, Yellow Roadway cracked into the booming Asian market when its logistics subsidiary, Meridian IQ, bought Shanghai-based GPS Logistics Group.
JHJ is the second-largest air-freight forwarder in China and also offers ocean freight-forwarding and logistics services through a network of 22 locations. JHJ employs more than 1,000 people and reported 2004 revenue of $330 million.
Shanghai Jin Jiang, a publicly traded subsidiary of conglomerate Jin Jiang International Holding Co., also engages in the passenger transportation and logistics industries in China.
"Jin Jiang is one of the most recognized brand names in China," Yellow Roadway said in a release

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