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Looks like Jonah wants to swallow the whale.
On Thursday, YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW ) , a troubled trucker with a market capitalization shy of $120 million, announced plans to buy rival Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ARCB ) , a company more than three times its size.
Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer Judy McReynolds declined to enter into talks with YRC on the proposal, having been told by her board of directors that the "timing was not right." But YRC is not dissuaded.
In a press release revealing the goings-on today, YRC's own CEO, James Welch, confirmed: "Our board and management believed then and believes now that the combination of Arkansas Best and YRCW would be in the best interests of all employees, customers and shareholders of both companies. We remain committed to continuing the great strides we have made at YRCW" -- and apparently, committed, too, to pursuing a merger between the two companies.
Viewed from one angle, YRC's bid seems strange given the disconnect between the two companies' market caps. However, when evaluated from the size of their businesses, the plan makes more sense. If YRC is smaller than Arkansas Best in terms of its value to investors, it's more than twice as big in terms of its revenues. Last year, YRC booked $4.8 billion in revenue; YRC, only $2.2 billion.
Shares of YRC are up 1.1% on today's news. Arkansas Best shareholders, in contrast, anticipating a purchase at a premium, are seeing their shares rise 8.4%, to roughly $16.64.