Daseke Company Shares Debut on Nasdaq

By on March 29, 2017

Don Daseke of Daseke, Inc.

If you are looking to invest for the first time or make changes to your already established stock portfolio, then there is a new local company you can consider doing business with. Addison-based Daseke, Inc., the largest owner and operator of open deck specialized transportation capacity in North America, recently announced that it has begun trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market. This news comes as part of a merger with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II (HCAC), in which HCAC changed its name to Daseke, Inc., and the company’s common stock and warrants have begun trading under the symbols “DSKE” and “DSKEW.” Thirty percent of all company shares is available for trading on Nasdaq.

Don Daseke, Chairman and CEO of Daseke, Inc., said in a recent press release, “Our vision from the start was to become a public company so we could have access to the capital markets in order to continue our focused consolidation strategy. We believe we have an acquisition pipeline that could enable us to double Daseke’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization over the next three years, and we believe this business combination positions us to meet our 2017 consolidation objectives. Daseke has less than a 1 percent share of this highly fragmented open deck freight market, and we believe we have a tremendous opportunity for future growth and continued market penetration.”

Daseke is a leading consolidator of the highly fragmented $133 billion open deck specialized right market in North America. Since beginning operations in 2009, Daseke has grown revenue organically and through acquisitions from $30 million to more than $650 million estimated in 2016, which represents a compound annual growth rate of approximately 55 percent. The company serves industrial customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico with a fleet of approximately 3,000 tractors and 6,000 trailers. The operating companies of Daseke include: Smokey Point, E.W. Wylie, J. Grady Randolph, Central Oregon Truck Company, Lone Start Transportation, Bulldog Hiway Express, Hornady Transportation and The Boyd Companies (Boyd Bros. Transportation, WTI Transport and Mid Seven Transportation).

Part of what makes Daseke different is its scale of operations, national freight network, and modern and efficient equipment fleets; however, Daseke stands apart due to its commitment to investing in capacity, safety and people. The Daseke operating companies’ senior management teams stay close with their customers, and regularly collaborate with each other to offer customers the best, safest and most cost-efficient transportation and logistics solutions. The operating companies’ CEOs have an average of almost thirty years experience with their companies.

“From the beginning, our plan was to have a stock program for all of our employees, including an industry-first public stock plan for our company drivers,” Daseke continued in the press release. “They have a very tough job, and we respect them greatly. Giving our people the opportunity to be owners in Daseke is a great day for me on a very personal level. We are just now making it to first base in our strategy to build the premier specialized, open deck transportation company in North America. We could not have chosen a better partner than the team at HCAC and are excited to become a Nasdaq-listed public company.”

Since the business merger between Daseke and HCAC is now complete, there are a few changes in management. HCAC Chairman and CEO Daniel J. Hennessy and President, COO and director Kevin Charlton have joined the board of directors of the combined company. The board now consists of eight members, including Daseke Chairman and CEO Don Daseke and executive vice president and CFO Scott Wheeler, as well as Brian Bonner, Ron Gafford, Mark Sinclair and Jonathan Shepko.

“We are extremely proud to join forces with Daseke, the first trucking company to go public since 2010,” said Hennessy in a recent press release. “We have made a powerful combination: HCAC’s industrial focus and capital market expertise is now coupled with Daseke’s experienced management team and their consistent track record of successfully consolidating the open deck specialized transportation market. We look forward to assisting in Daseke’s continued growth as directors of the combined company.”

HCAC was advised on the transaction by Stifel, UBS Investment Bank, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., BMO Capital Markets and XMS Capital Partners, LLC, with Sidley Austin LLP and Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP as legal counsel. Daseke was advised by Cowen and Company with Vinson & Elkins LLP as legal counsel.

Although the main purpose of the $148 million stock transaction is to raise money for merging more open-deck and specialized carriers into the company, Daseke is also working on creating a stock ownership plan for its more than 2,300 drivers in the corporation’s nine operating companies. This should be complete by May.

Congratulations to Daseke and HCAC on a successful business merger. We are excited to see what the future holds for this new, combined company – both on the road and in the stock market.

Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where she learned to love chips and salsa and hot weather. She has a master's degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and she currently works in the College Communications, Marketing and Outreach office at Richland College. Some of her passions include writing, traveling and re-reading the Harry Potter Series every chance she gets. In the spirit of spontaneity, Sydni lives her life with a pen in one hand and her video camera in the other; ready to capture the next great story.

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