Yellow Corp.

Auctioned Yellow properties to yield $1.9B, with more on the block

Dec. 7, 2023
Four large carriers, including XPO and Knight-Swift, are among the apparent winning bidders for much of Yellow's properties. The auctioned terminals and other real estate are set to fetch $1.9 billion, with 46 owned and leased properties still available.

Twenty-one companies are in line to pick up pieces of defunct Yellow Corp.'s real estate portfolio for $1.9 billion—and the complex auction could raise hundreds of millions of dollars more from the sale of dozens of remaining unsold properties.

In a filing this week with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, attorneys for Yellow—which shut down in late July—said the auction of the company's terminal network has so far yielded deals for 130 properties Yellow owns. Another 46 properties and Yellow's real estate leases remain up for grabs.

See also: Estes claims Yellow owes millions in terminal maintenance

By far the biggest buyer of Yellow properties is XPO Inc., which has had $870 million in bids for 26 owned and two leased sites accepted. In recent quarters, XPO executives have been aggressively growing the rival less-than-truckload carrier's footprint. COE Mario Harik recently said his team is ramping up capital spending—including on real estate—to ensure it can adequately service customers it has picked up from Yellow.

XPO's potential pick-ups are sprinkled across the country, from California to New York and down to Georgia and South Carolina. Three terminals are in Tennessee, while Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania also have multiple sites on the list. They and the other transactions being finalized will go before Judge Craig T. Goldblatt for approval on Dec. 12.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (which also detailed a new loan and financing plan to fund the Yellow real estate acquisitions), XPO executives said they expect the $870 million plan will add to XPO's adjusted EBITDA in 2024 but hurt earnings per share from continuing operations. Starting in 2025, they added, the deal will also be accretive to EPS. 

Three other carriers submitted successful bids for a double-digit number of properties: Estes Express Lines is in line to pay $249 million for 24 terminals, Saia Inc. would pay $236 million for 17 properties, and Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. would pay roughly $51 million for 13 sites. Combined with XPO's deals, these bids account for nearly two-thirds of the properties set to change hands and almost 75% of the dollar value of successful bids so far.

“The addition of these new facilities furthers our multiyear strategy of expanding Saia’s national terminal footprint and, as they are opened over time, they will enable us to provide better service to both new and existing customers,” Saia President and CEO Fritz Holzgrefe said in a statement.

The $1.9 billion figure for the contemplated sales is notably higher than the $1.525 billion stalking-horse bid Estes executives submitted in September for the entire Yellow portfolio to set a floor for the auction now underway. That number could grow significantly if the remaining 46 owned properties, as well as Yellow's leases, fetch similar prices. Even at a 25% discount to the average proposed price per terminal of about $14.5 million, unloading those terminals and leases would yield Yellow at least $500 million more.

That will mean good things for Yellow creditors, a fact reflected in the trading of Yellow shares: Around midday Dec. 5, the stock (Ticker: YELL) was up 50% to $2.63, pushing the market value of Yellow's shell to more than $130 million. Still, observers have said that equity holders are unlikely to receive much, if anything, from the resolution of Yellow's debts.

Several other big trucking players also have submitted winning bids for some Yellow real estate:

  • A subsidiary of ArcBest Corp. is set to pay $30.2 million for three properties in Arkansas, Iowa and Ohio.
  • An entity with the same address as Pitt Ohio Transportation Group is the chosen bidder for seven properties in six states from South Carolina to Wisconsin; if approved by Goldblatt, it will pay more than $83 million for those sites.
  • An affiliate of TForce Freight submitted winning bids for two terminals in California and Kentucky, for which it will pay nearly $16 million.

Of the nearly 50 properties Yellow owns and is still trying to sell, more than half have fewer than 50 doors. But there are also several large sites still up for grabs, including a 426-door terminal on more than 100 acres in the Chicago area and a 304-door facility in about 51 acres north of New York City. Court filings say all these properties are still to be sold either via the ongoing auction or by other marketing efforts.

This article was originally published on

About the Author

Geert De Lombaerde

A native of Belgium, Geert De Lombaerde has more than two decades of business journalism experience. With a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, he began his reporting career at the Business Courier in Cincinnati and later was managing editor and editor of the Nashville Business Journal. Most recently, he oversaw the online and print products of the Nashville Post and reported primarily on Middle Tennessee’s finance sector as well as many of its publicly traded companies.

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