* Bid valued at $25 per share, or $248 mln
* Greenbriar bid was $24 per share
* Dynamex board unanimously approves Transforce offer (Adds details, in U.S. dollars unless noted)
By Pav Jordan
TORONTO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Transforce Inc TFI.TO, a mid-tier Canadian trucker seeking to gain traction in niche services, said on Tuesday it agreed to buy Dynamex Inc DDMX.O for $248 million, trumping a rival bid from a private equity group.
Montreal-based Transforce said it offered to pay $25 cash for each share in Dynamex as it pursues greater access to U.S. markets and the specialty same-day delivery sector.
That was higher than an earlier offer from Greenbriar Equity Group LLC for $24 a share.
Transforce said that Dynamex’s board had unanimously approved its offer.
TransForce Chief Executive Alain Bedard said the acquisition would allow Transforce, already a significant player in the package and courier business in Canada, to serve new sectors and tap U.S. markets.
“Dynamex specializes almost exclusively in same-day delivery services, a segment generally not offered by TransForce,” said Bedard.
Canadian truckers are moving into less traditional areas such as collecting garbage and delivering parcels after the recession exposed their reliance on core trucking businesses like cargo and small freight shipping. [ID:nSGE6A10LG]
The acquisition of Dallas, Texas-based Dynamex, allows Transforce to provide niche service, same-day delivery and guard against a return to pricing pressures facing the more mainstream industry.
Other companies in Canada, including Mullen Group (MTL.TO) and Contrans CSS.TO are in similar pursuits to broaden their portfolio of specialized services, which are difficult to enter but are largely unaffected by spot market pricing.
Contrans already made two acquisitions in waste management in the past two months, including the takeover of Prowerx Disposal Ltd in September.
Transforce said it would fund the Dynamex acquisition using its existing credit facilities.
It said the deal, subject to U.S. and Canadian regulatory approval, should close in the first quarter of 2011.
Transforce shares closed 2.62 percent higher in Toronto at C$12.55. Stock of Dynamex rose 0.4 percent to close at C$25.30 on the Nasdaq.
$1=$1.01 Canadian Additional reporting by Gowri Jayakumar in Bangalore