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Universal Trailer Buys Trailer Pioneer Wells Cargo

October 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Universal Trailer Holdings Corp. (UTC) and its affiliates announced today (Oct. 2) the purchase of Wells Cargo Inc., the nation’s original cargo trailer manufacturer.

Tom Frey, president and CEO of UTC, the largest specialty trailer manufacturer in North America, stated in a news release, “We are pleased to welcome Wells Cargo to Universal Trailer’s family of brands. The acquisition is a terrific strategic fit with UTC’s goal of offering the best value across a broad range of trailer products. It completes our quality cargo trailer offerings in every price category.”

“The addition of Wells Cargo will continue to advance our efforts to expand manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies as well as help us progress toward our strategic goals,” Frey said.

Kevin Page, president of Haulmark Industries, UTC’s existing cargo trailer business, has been named president of the Universal Trailer Cargo Group, which will include both Haulmark and Wells Cargo.

Terms were not disclosed.

Chicago-based Legacy Capital Advisors represented Wells Cargo in the transaction.

“Both sides were very pleased with the transaction,” said Kevin Keuper, of Legacy Capital.

Headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., Wells Cargo has approximately 350 employees at six manufacturing locations across the U.S. One of the most venerable names in the trailer business, Wells Cargo launched the first enclosed trailer company in 1954. Today it offers five trailer brands for industrial, commercial and recreational applications through an extensive network of experienced dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to Elkhart, UTC’s Wells Cargo offices and manufacturing facilities are located in Carbondale, Pa., Waycross, Ga., Waco, Texas, Phoenix, Ariz., and Ogden, Utah.

Jeff Wells, president and CEO of Wells Cargo, stated, “I am very pleased to have Wells Cargo become a part of the UTC trailer group. It will continue our presence as the first and oldest cargo trailer manufacturer while maintaining our high level of product and customer service.”

Wells’ father, Maynard Wells, founded the cargo trailer company a half century ago. The elder Wells’ brother, Walter Wells, partnered with Wilbur Schult in the early 1930s to create Schult Homes, the first major trailer manufacturer in Elkhart.

UTC expects to continue manufacturing in all of the states in which UTC and Wells Cargo are currently producing trailers. Accordingly, UTC will build trailers in eight states and retail its products through an independent dealer network of over 700 in all 50 states and six Canadian provinces.

Besides Wells Cargo and Haulmark, UTC is home to the Featherlite, Sooner, Exiss and Miley trailer brands. Haulmark is a flagship car, utility and recreational trailer brand. The Sooner, Exiss and Miley brands serve the expansive horse and livestock trailer market. Featherlite is the leading market-share manufacturer of horse and livestock trailers as well as the largest supplier of large special purpose trailers.

Universal Trailer Holdings Corp. is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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