Uber buys logistics planner Transplace for $2.25 billion

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Uber Technologies Inc’s trucking business is buying transportation logistics company Transplace for about $2.25 billion from private equity firm TPG Capital, in a deal that is expected to speed up the unit’s path to profitability.

The acquisition, announced by Uber on Thursday, consists of up to $750 million in the company’s common stock and the remainder in cash.

Uber Freight operates as a middle man in the fragmented long-haul trucking business, connecting truckers with shippers. Transplace works with shipping brokers and carriers to manage supply chains and plan logistics, including cross-border shipments.

The deal marks a departure from Uber’s strategy in recent years of selling capital-intensive businesses, such as its self-driving and flying taxi units, to achieve long-elusive profitability.

The company instead has doubled down on its food-delivery service Uber Eats, which has been a pandemic winner, by acquiring rival start-up Postmates and last-mile alcohol delivery company Drizly.

Uber is also expanding its grocery delivery business, announcing this week a partnership with Albertsons Companies Inc and Costco Wholesale Corp.

The Transplace acquisition will put weight behind Uber’s trucking unit at a time of accelerated transformation in logistics, the ride-hailing company said in a statement.

Transplace on its website says it counts 62,000 unique users and has $11 billion of freight under management.

Transplace is projected to post EBITDA of more than $100 million this year, Uber said in an investor presentation. It did not disclose Transplace’s revenue but said the company reported a compound annual revenue growth rate of 15% since 2017.

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