September 14, 2023

Estes sets new floor of $1.525B for Yellow terminals


Private less-than-truckload carrier Estes Express Lines’ new bid of $1.525 billion for Yellow’s terminals is now the front-runner, court documents revealed Wednesday.

A filing in a Delaware bankruptcy court showed the carrier entered a stalking horse offer eclipsing the $1.5 billion bid made by rival Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL). Estes started the bidding war in mid-August when it made a $1.3 billion offer.

The motion showed Yellow has designated the Estes offer as the best so far and requested the court to rule on the matter by Sept. 22 to avoid the risk of it being withdrawn. The new bid exceeds all amounts owed to secured creditors.

Estes’ offer also includes “substantially below market” bid protections. It provides a maximum of $9.1 million in total, including a $7.5 million breakup fee and expense reimbursement up to $1.6 million.

Old Dominion’s submission included a $26 million breakup fee and up to $2 million in reimbursed expenses.

The deal also allows the sites to be sold together or separately and provides 30 days of rent-free equipment storage, which is valued at more than $10 million.

The stalking horse bid sets a price floor for Yellow’s 170-terminal portfolio. If the latest offer stands, Estes could still be outbid on some or all of the properties. An auction date of Nov. 27 has been set if needed.

The company’s rolling stock, which includes roughly 12,000 owned tractors, could take place on Oct. 18.

A separate Wednesday filing showed there have been 120 indications of interest for Yellow’s assets, with 307 parties executing confidentiality agreements to gain access to the asset data.

Beyond the secured claims, a large unsecured claim in the form of pension withdrawal liabilities will still need to be settled. Yellow said in a recent quarterly filing that those claims could exceed $6.5 billion.

Yellow filed a Chapter 11 petition with the court on Aug. 7.

More FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden


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