SAN DIEGO — Four Winds Enterprises, the $125-million-a-year, privately held transportation services firm, said Friday that it had signed a letter of intent to be purchased by the Myers Group Inc., a large custom-brokerage and freight company based in New York.
The sale, for an undisclosed amount, could be completed by year's end, according to Richard W. Arendsee, Four Winds chairman and chief executive.
Four Winds, with 220 employees in San Diego and 600 worldwide, will remain intact as an independent subsidiary of the Myers Group, according to Arendsee.
The Myers Group, based in Rouses Point in upstate New York, had sales of $800 million last year, Arendsee said. The privately held company has 800 employees.
William R. Casey Jr., chairman of the Myers Group, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment on the pending purchase. His office said that no other Myers Group official would have any comment.
The board of directors of both companies must still approve the agreement in principle, Arendsee said.
Arendsee said the companies fit together because Four Winds can handle the transportation for the goods and products that the Myers Group brokers.
Last year, Four Winds completed a yearlong reorganization to compete in the deregulated transportation industry. In the past few years, the firm, which was once predominantly government contract-oriented, has shifted its customer base to commercial work.
One of the consultants brought in to oversee that reorganization was responsible for broaching the Four Winds purchase.
"We saw we had to get a lot bigger," said Arendsee, who founded Four Winds in 1963. "And we couldn't raise the outside capital on our own. This was the most viable alternative to a major expansion."