(Reuters) - Private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC WP.UL is exploring a sale of New Breed Logistics Inc in a deal that could value the supply chain management company at more than $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
New Breed is the latest in a spate of private equity-owned logistics companies seeking new owners as the outlook for the U.S. economy gradually brightens, improving the chances that buyout firms can sell them at a higher valuation.
Warburg Pincus is working with investment bankers as it prepares to have talks with interested parties that are likely to include other private equity firms, the people said on Monday.
New Breed's chief executive, Louis DeJoy, holds a substantial equity stake in the company and will likely play a key role in deal negotiations, some of the people added.
The sources asked not be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Representatives for New Breed and Warburg Pincus declined to comment.
Founded in 1968 as a regional trucking company, High Point, North Carolina-based New Breed offers third-party logistics services to multinational corporations and government agencies.
New Breed has more than 7,000 employees, operates more than 50 distribution facilities and annually distributes more than $30 billion in products, according to Warburg Pincus' website.
Warburg Pincus acquired a majority stake in New Breed in 2005 for an undisclosed amount from another private equity firm, Eos Partners.
New Breed joins a list of other private equity-owned logistics services providers that are exploring a sale, including Charter Brokerage LLC, Jacobson Companies Inc and Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) -backed Neovia Logistics LLC.
Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis, Mike Stone and Soyoung Kim in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis