Magazine article Black Enterprise

Active Transport: King of the Road, Deal Makes AT the Largest Black-Owned Vehicle Transport Company

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Active Transport: King of the Road, Deal Makes AT the Largest Black-Owned Vehicle Transport Company

Article excerpt

Former football player Charlie Johnson hit pay dirt with the recent purchase of a $240 million company that propels his trucking business, Active

Transportation Inc., into the big leagues. The acquisition of Jupiter Transportation Systems Inc., based in Kenosha, Wis., makes Active the largest black-owned transporter of new cars and trucks in the country.

"These are the kinds of deals that minority people need to be involved in," says Johnson, who will continue as CEO and president of Active.

Active and its sister company, Automotive Carrier Services, have combined annual revenues of $35 million, Johnson says. With the purchase, he projects that the larger company will see revenues of about $300 million a year.

Johnson closed the $50 million deal in late October. He raised $45 million in loans from American National Bank, Heller Financial and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance. The rest of the money came from Johnson himself, Dennis Traha, who is Jupiter's president, and Alice and Wade Houston, all of whom will hold positions in the new company.

"This is a case of the smaller fish eating up the bigger fish, says Renaldo M. Jensen, director of the Minority Supplier Development Program for Ford Motor Co., whose program helped expand Johnson's trucking business.

Jupiter's car and truck hauling divisions--Dallas & Mavis Forwarding Co., Kenosha Auto Transportation Corp. and Provential American Truck Transporters--will all be merged with Active. …

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