Has Bison Transport Been Sold?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Bison Transport was acquired by James Richardson & Sons, Limited in January 2021.
  • The acquisition allowed Bison Transport to continue expanding, such as acquiring Pottle’s Transportation in 2022.
  • Bison Transport operates trucking services in Canada and the United States.
  • The company has maintained its brand and operations under the new ownership.
  • The sale provided financial backing for Bison Transport’s growth plans.


The trucking industry plays a vital role in moving goods across North America. With the rise of e-commerce and just-in-time inventory management, efficient and reliable transportation is more important than ever. This makes mergers and acquisitions in the trucking sector intriguing to follow. When a major transportation company gets acquired, it raises questions about how operations, services, and culture might change under new ownership.

One of the most notable recent trucking acquisitions came in January 2021, when James Richardson & Sons, Limited purchased Bison Transport. This deal sparked the question: Has Bison Transport been sold? The answer is yes, but the transaction is about more than just a change in ownership. Examining the acquisition provides insights into Bison Transport’s growth strategy and how the company has adapted to new leadership.

This article will analyze Bison Transport’s sale to James Richardson & Sons. It will look at key details of the acquisition, how it impacted Bison’s business, and what it means for the company’s future outlook. For those interested in the trucking industry, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy, or Bison Transport itself, this deep dive illuminates an important case study. Read on to learn all about the sale of Bison Transport to James Richardson & Sons.

What Was Bison Transport’s Status Before the Sale?

To understand the implications of Bison Transport’s sale, it is useful to first review the company’s background. Bison Transport was founded in 1969 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over five decades, it grew into one of the largest truckload carriers in Canada. The company operates nationally in Canada and extends into the Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern United States.

Prior to its acquisition, Bison Transport had over 2,200 employees and 3,000 trucks and trailers. It offered full truckload service, dedicated contracts, cross-border shipping, and other transportation solutions. The company had a strong focus on safety and operational excellence.

Despite its scale, Bison Transport remained a private family-owned business for over 50 years. The company was led by Don Streuber, President and CEO, along with a dedicated executive team. Under their leadership, Bison became an award-winning carrier with a focus on its people and values.

While privately owned, Bison Transport was interested in strategic growth through acquisition. The company made some small regional purchases, but lacked the financial backing to pursue larger deals. This set the stage for the eventual sale to James Richardson & Sons.

Who is the New Owner, James Richardson & Sons?

Founded in 1857, James Richardson & Sons Limited is one of Canada’s oldest family-run businesses. The company has two main operating divisions:

  • James Richardson International – Provides grain handling and merchandising services with operations across Canada.
  • James Richardson & Sons, Limited – Holds investments in other companies, including oil and gas production, real estate, hotels, and more.

James Richardson & Sons has a long history of investments and acquisitions across industries. The company focuses on well-run firms with strong teams that become integrated into the parent company’s structure. Past purchases have included energy firms like Tundra Oil & Gas Limited and financial services leaders like Wellington West.

The acquisition of Bison Transport aligned with James Richardson & Sons’ strategy of investing in market-leading companies poised for growth. It also expanded their holdings in the transportation sector following the 2008 purchase of shipping company Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. James Richardson & Sons had financial backing and experience to support major acquisitions that Bison Transport lacked as a private company.

What Were the Terms of the Bison Transport Acquisition?

In January 2021, James Richardson & Sons purchased 100% of Bison Transport shares in a definitive agreement valued at roughly $770 million CAD. This amounted to one of the largest recent deals in Canadian trucking.

The acquisition price represented a sizable return for Bison’s previous owners, the Streuber family. Reports estimated the transaction valued Bison Transport at over 10 times annual EBITDA or 30 times earnings. This premium valuation highlights the desirability of a top asset like Bison Transport.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Bison Transport would continue operating as a standalone company. Its brand, operations, and team, including top management, would stay fully intact. Bringing Bison under the James Richardson & Sons umbrella provided financial backing but maintained independence.

James Richardson & Sons stated that no major changes were planned for Bison Transport following the purchase. The focus would remain on supporting Bison’s personnel,culture and pursuing strategic growth opportunities. This continuity gave the Streuber family confidence in entrusting the business their grandfather started over 50 years ago.

How Did the Acquisition Impact Bison Transport’s Business?

Since the acquisition in early 2021, Bison Transport has operated business as usual. As promised, James Richardson & Sons maintained Bison’s brand, operations, and culture. Customers experienced no service disruptions from the ownership change.

Joining James Richardson & Sons gave Bison Transport the backing to pursue expansion goals. In October 2022, Bison completed its first major acquisition since the sale by purchasing Pottle’s Transportation. Based in New Brunswick, Pottle’s expanded Bison’s Atlantic Canada presence in truckload and logistics.

Bison Transport has also continued its technology modernization efforts under its new parent company. In 2022, Bison integrated a new transportation management system to optimize shipments. The company also expanded its trailer tracking and in-cab camera systems. These investments aim to improve safety, service and efficiency.

While now a subsidiary of James Richardson & Sons, Bison Transport still operates as a standalone business. Its executive team remains wholly intact following the acquisition. James Richardson & Sons has taken a hands-off approach, allowing Bison to direct day-to-day operations and strategy. The continuity has enabled a smooth transition to new ownership.

What Does This Acquisition Mean for the Future of Bison Transport?

Bison Transport’s acquisition by James Richardson & Sons appears to have achieved the best of both worlds. Bison secured the financial backing of a large parent company but has maintained independence in its brand and operations. This structure seems aimed to continue into the future.

James Richardson & Sons has expressed satisfaction with its hands-off approach to Bison Transport thus far. The deal provides a major transportation investment without requiring active management by James Richardson. Meanwhile, Bison benefits from their financial resources and expertise.

Bison Transport is likely to continue growing both organically and through acquisition under its new owner. The recent Pottle’s Transportation purchase is one example of expansion plans. James Richardson & Sons has the means to fund larger purchases that can expand Bison’s geographic and service footprint.

While acquired, Bison Transport does not seem in danger of radical change. James Richardson & Sons has focused on continuity since purchasing the company. Bison’s brand, legacy, and operational excellence remain central going forward. With financial backing for growth, the company is positioned well for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did James Richardson & Sons acquire Bison Transport?

James Richardson & Sons purchased Bison Transport in January 2021 through a definitive agreement valued at approximately $770 million CAD. This acquisition transferred 100% ownership of Bison Transport to James Richardson & Sons.

Who was the previous owner of Bison Transport?

Bison Transport was previously owned by the Streuber family, who founded and privately held the company for over 50 years. Don Streuber was the President and CEO leading up to the sale to James Richardson & Sons.

What is James Richardson & Sons’ business?

James Richardson & Sons operates two main divisions: James Richardson International provides grain handling and merchandising, while James Richardson & Sons, Limited manages investments across industries like energy, real estate, and transportation. The acquisition of Bison Transport expanded their transportation investments.

How did the sale impact Bison Transport’s leadership?

The sale had minimal impact on Bison Transport’s leadership team. As part of the acquisition terms, Bison’s top executives, including Don Streuber as President and CEO, remained in place. This continuity helped maintain Bison’s culture and operations through the ownership change.

Did Bison Transport’s name change after the acquisition?

No, Bison Transport retained its established brand name and identity after being acquired by James Richardson & Sons. The buyer intentionally maintained Bison as an independent operation with no major changes to its business.

How has the acquisition supported Bison Transport’s growth plans?

James Richardson & Sons’ financial backing has enabled Bison Transport to pursue expansion goals. In 2022, Bison made its first major acquisition under new ownership, purchasing Pottle’s Transportation to grow in Atlantic Canada. The support of James Richardson & Sons allows Bison to expand through larger, strategic acquisitions.


The 2021 acquisition of Bison Transport by James Richardson & Sons marked a major step for the prominent Canadian trucking firm. While acquired, Bison Transport has maintained independent operations and strategic direction under its new parent company. James Richardson & Sons has taken a hands-off approach, allowing Bison’s proven model to thrive with expanded financial resources.

Early indications suggest the acquisition has successfully enhanced Bison Transport’s capabilities and positioned the company for growth. Bison continues developing its services, technology, and geographic reach – now with the capabilities of a large corporate partner. The deal achieves the benefits of scale while preserving culture and continuity.

Going forward, expect Bison Transport to continue flourishing as both an established Canadian trucking leader and part of a larger group under James Richardson & Sons. If early integration is any indication, Bison Transport’s trajectory remains strong under its new ownership situation. The company’s brand, team, and values endure as the business enters its next chapter

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