Bankrupt Simon gets new start

| 4/11/2002

The bankrupt UT-based refrigerated carrier, Dick Simon Trucking Inc., along with its subsidiary, Dick Simon Trucking Inc. will be sold to TX-based rival, Central Freight Lines Inc (CFL). Central Freight Lines is a subsidiary of Swift Transportation.

The reported bid is $152 million. According to reports, the deal involves CFL paying about $100 million for 1,108 of Simon's leased tractors and 1,969 trailers; $52 million for terminals and other assets; and assuming about $23 million in debt. Simon Transportation will join Central Refrigerated Service, a new division of CFL, when the sale closes April 22.

When Simon filed for bankruptcy after being pressed to make payments on its leased trucks, the company took steps to make it more attractive to a buyer by slashing its fleet by 40 percent. This move cost nearly 500 drivers and 3,000 other workers their jobs.

CFL was the first to approach Simon with a bid on March 13 and two days later, CFL said it was pleased with the offer, although Simon hinted it did have other potential buyers.

The buyout means that Simon's workers will keep their jobs, according to Earl Scudder, an attorney for Jerry Moyes, chairman of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation Co. Moyes is a majority stockholder in Simon as well as CFL. "We're downsizing Simon and starting out with a clean slate with our existing customers," said Moyes late Tuesday.