Yellow could raise over $2 billion after the auction of its terminals.
Approximately a dozen transportation and real estate companies were named winners in the court-supervised auction, selling 75% of Yellow’s properties for an estimated total of $1.9 billion, as per a filing on Monday, December 4, in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.
Yellow Corp, the freight transportation company, secured a $700 million federal loan during the pandemic and filed for bankruptcy in August 2023, becoming the largest bankruptcy in the history of the U.S. trucking industry.
The Delaware bankruptcy court approved the auction sale of Yellow’s assets, including around 12,000 tractors and 35,000 trailers. Initially, Estes Express Lines emerged as the lead buyer, receiving court approval in September to lead the acquisition of Yellow’s terminals with a bid of $1.525 billion.
However, Jack Cooper Transport submitted a bid in October that took the lead, gaining the favor of the Biden administration. According to reports, the offer includes $1.1 billion in new debt to pay secured lenders and hedge funds supporting the bankruptcy filing. Additionally, $1.5 billion in preferred equity is included to address the claims of unsecured creditors.
Sarah Riggs Amico, CEO of Jack Cooper Transport, mentioned that she expects Yellow’s creditors to continue considering the offer while reviewing the total amount raised in the auction.
The Treasury is evaluating its options to possibly rescue some of the jobs lost after Yellow’s downfall, balancing this decision with its fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers, who would be compensated with the current Chapter 11 liquidation plan.
After the initial results, it is expected that the remaining properties will be sold in the coming months, fetching hundreds of millions more.
First winners of Yellow Corp.’s terminals
Among the companies named winners in the auction of Yellow Corp.’s assets, raising an estimated $1.9 billion, the highest figures were achieved by XPO Inc., Estes Express Lines, and Saia LTL Freight.
XPO Inc. led with a total of $870 million for 28 properties (two of which are leased).
Estes Express Lines, which began the process with a $1.525 billion bid, secured 24 terminals for a total purchase price of nearly $250 million.
In third place was Saia LTL Freight’s bid, including 17 properties for a purchase price of $236 million.
The bids still need court approval, with a hearing scheduled for December 12. The liquidation of Yellow’s 12,000 tractors and 35,000 trailers through auction houses is still ongoing.
It is anticipated that the liquidation of Yellow’s assets will generate revenues surpassing $1.2 billion in debt held by secured lenders, as well as the over $200 million in bankruptcy financing provided by hedge funds.
However, the assets still need to address the claims of unsecured creditors, including pension funds, which have asserted having outstanding credits in the billions of dollars.
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