A major Tacoma-based company is getting bigger.
TrueBlue Inc. today announced it is broadening its nationwide reach with the acquisition of the nation’s third largest general labor staffing firm, MDT Personnel.
The $48 million deal will add MDT’s 105 branch and 15 on-site locations to TrueBlue’s country-wide network. TrueBlue is the parent company of Labor Ready, Spartan Staffing, CLP Resources, PlaneTechs and Centerline. The company employs 300 in Tacoma. TrueBlue’s headquarters is located in what once was Weyerhaeuser Co.’s headquarters building at 11th and A streets in downtown Tacoma.
MDT’s locations are concentrated in 25 states mostly in the South. The company’s headquarters are in Clearwater, Fla. TrueBlue said it intends to close that Florida headquarters and consolidate most of its corporate backoffice operations with existing TrueBlue operations.
TrueBlue Chief Financial Officer Derrek Gafford said the acquisition will add only a few jobs to the company’s headquarters operations.
TruBlue is retaining three MDT operations executives. MDT’s CEO will help with the transition and will act as a consultant to True Blue. The integration of the two companies is expected to be accomplished sometime in the second quarter of this year.
At acquisition, the addition of MDT’s branches will raise the count of TrueBlue branches to 800 nationwide. Ultimately, that number will be reduced by 60, the company said, as it consolidates redundant operations.
MDT’s $200 million in additional revenues will raise TrueBlue’s revenues to the $1.6 billion range.
MDT acquired troubled Florida temporary labor firm Able Body Labor in 2010. That acquisition resulted in litigation between MDT and Able Body’s founder, Frank Mongelluzi. Mongelluzi’s financial empire collapsed when the housing boom in Florida and other states ended as the mortgage crisis bloomed.
TrueBlue officials said MDT’s leadership had cleared up Able Body’s issues and put that business back on course.
Wall Street greeted the news of the MDT acquisition enthusiastically, raising TrueBlue’s stock price to a new 52-week high of $18.74 a share in early trading.
TrueBlue Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper said MDT is a good fit in TrueBlue’s portfolio of brands.
“Getting results is inherent to the culture of both companies,” said Cooper in a prepared statement. “MDT is a high-quality company. I’m excited to bring our talented teams together so that we can create even more growth by adressing the needs of our combined customers and to attract new customers by delivering solutions to them through the added expertise and scale we now offer.”
The TrueBlue CEO said the company is optimistic about the business prospects of the staffing industry. TrueBlue plans to continue growth through appropriate acquistions in the industry, the company said.
News of the MDT deal came as TrueBlue announced slightly lower revenues and profits in last year’s fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. For the full year, however, the company reported both higher revenues and profits than in 2011.
Revenue for the fourth quarter was $345 million compared with $350 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $7.4 million or 19 cents a shared compared with $7.6 million or 19 cents a share in the comparable quarter in 2011.
For 2012, revenue was $1.39 billion, an increase of six percent compared with 2011. Net income in 2012 was $33.6 million or 84 cents a share. In 2011, net income was $30.8 million or 73 cents a share.
While the fourth quarter results were marginally lower than in 2011, the results beat Wall Street’s profit expectations by six cents a share and revenue forecasts by $8.3 million.