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Ruan sells unit


Ryder System Inc., one of the nation’s largest trucking and transportation companies, said it signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy all of the assets of Ruan Leasing Co., a subsidiary of Ruan Transportation Management Systems.

The financial terms of the agreement are still being negotiated and were not released, Miami-based Ryder said in a statement. It was not immediately clear how many Ruan workers would be affected by the sale. Last year, Ruan’s leasing business accounted for about a quarter of the company’s total revenues.

The sale comes four months after Ruan announced it was cutting 100 jobs at the leasing business, including about 30 in Des Moines, in a bid to reduce costs amid a difficult environment for the trucking industry. Ruan’s leasing business, which includes a fleet of nearly 6,800 vehicles and an additional 4,800 units under contract maintenance agreements, has been hurt by falling prices for used equipment and higher borrowing costs. Prices for gasoline, too, have increased.

“Leasing has been a real tough business to run in this economy,” Ruan spokesman Matt McCoy told the Business Record on Aug. 4, the day the job cuts were announced.

Ruan Leasing, which operates the third-largest equipment leasing company in the United States, behind GE Capital and Ryder, had revenues of about $180 million last year. Ruan’s transportation and logistics business, which has been growing at about 20 percent a year, had revenues last year of about $700 million, McCoy said in August. Ruan employs about 4,500 workers nationwide.

Ruan’s supply chain, logistics and dedicated contract carriage businesses were not included in the agreement with Ryder. The transaction is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2004.

Ryder had net income of $93.7 million on revenues of $4.78 billion last year. The company’s fleet includes 160,000 trucks, ranging in size from light duty to tractor-trailers.

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