MIAMI — Ryder System Inc. agreed to sell its most recognizable asset--its 33,000 yellow consumer rental trucks--to a group of investors for $575 million.
"The decision to sell consumer truck rental was in many ways an emotional one, since to many people the yellow truck has become the icon of our company," Ryder Chairman Anthony Burns said in announcing the deal Thursday.
Ryder has about 30% of the nation's consumer truck rentals, and the business represents about 10% of Ryder with $547 million in revenue last year.
The buyers, led by Southfield, Mich.-based investment group Questor Management Co., can use the Ryder name for 10 years but agreed to begin shifting to a new name after five years.
"No radical changes are going to occur overnight," said Jay Alix, a Questor principal and former chief executive of National Car Rental. Other Questor principals include Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette co-founder Dan Lufkin and former Transamerica Corp. President Edward Scarff.
Ryder said it wanted to focus on businesses with long-term customer ties such as its operation that coordinates and ships parts to factories. Ryder will also hold on to its commercial rental and leasing division, fleet contract and public bus transportation businesses.
Aside from Questor, others buyers are: Madison Dearborn Capital Partners, Societe Generale, Chase Capital Partners and Citicorp North America.