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TransForce in buying mood again; takes over ATS retail biz

MONTREAL -- At least one major trucking company is betting that the recession's end is near and people will begin spending money on household goods again.

TransForce, Canada's largest group of for-hire carrier companies, announced the acquisition of the Retail Solutions Division of ATS Andlauer Transportation Services, based in Etobicoke, Ont.

The division has about $120 million in revenues and is driven mostly by a group of 165 owner-operators.

ATS' niche Healthcare Division is not part of the deal and will remain as part of the Andlauer Management Group.

As is the case with most of TransForce's acquisitions, ATS Retail Solutions will operate as an autonomous business and ATS President and CEO Michael Andlauer will continue to play a leadership role as chair of a group specifically focused on courier solutions.

Alain Bédard, Chairman, President and CEO of TransForce said the retail goods hauling division is "an excellent strategic fit with our existing Canpar and ICS Courier businesses."

ATS' Retail business is a major player in Canada's household goods and home entertainment hauling sector and is responsible for transporting newly released DVD movies, music CDs and books to major retailers of those products. 

Incidentally, both carriers were public income trusts not too long ago and converted to corporations to avoid stricter, upcoming tax rule changes affecting income trusts.

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