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Mar. 03, 2014

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SURFACE & DOMESTIC TRANSPORTATION TRUCKING | RAIL | INTERMODAL | AIR & EXPEDITED | DISTRIBUTION THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 97 By William B. Cassidy WITH A $1.1 billion refi nancing deal locked down, YRC Worldwide CEO James Welch is free to focus on two critical items that need his attention: fi xing YRC Freight and winning shipper customers. "It's a breath of fresh air to be concen- trating 100 percent on trucking," he said in an interview, after spending "an inordi- nate amount of time" — most of last year — focused on refi nancing YRC Worldwide's $1.36 billion in long-term debt. That process involved winning a new fi ve-year Team- sters contract with extended wage and benefi t concessions, a $300 million debt-for- equity swap and the new $700 million term loan and $450 million asset-based loan the company announced in February. The refi nancing agreement will allow Welch and YRC Worldwide "to be all about the business," he said. From this point on, "It's about the customer, the execution," which is exactly as he likes it. Leaving YRC Worldwide in 2007, Welch returned to the struggling company in 2011 to become CEO. Since then, the holding company has reduced its losses, reporting its fi rst annual operating profi t since 2007 last year, and three consecutive quarters of operating profi t at YRC Freight. Then came a turbulent restructuring of change of operations that chopped into YRC Worldwide's earnings in the second and third quarters and pushed YRC Freight deeper into operating and net losses. YRC SHIFTS FOCUS TO THE CUSTOMER With a $1.1 billion refi nancing deal secured, CEO James Welch gets back to the business of trucking

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