In a move creating the fourth largest household goods carrier in the United States, Wheaton Van Lines, Inc. is completing the acquisition of Hillside, Ill-based Bekins Van Lines. The asset purchase agreement is in process and the transition of ownership is expected to be complete by mid March 2012.
When the acquisition is final, both brands – Wheaton World Wide Moving and Bekins Van Lines – will continue to be operated as separate brands with combined operational efficiencies. The new Bekins will be headquartered in Indianapolis, also the corporate headquarters of Wheaton. Together, the brands will increase the van line’s agency base from 240 agents across the country to approximately 370 nationwide.
The acquisition is designed to bolster both brands and bring increased operational capabilities to bear for the combined company’s entire client base – including private individuals and corporate clients. Approximately 38 employees will be added to Wheaton’s corporate staff in Indianapolis bringing the total number of corporate employees to about 175. Bekins offices in Hillside, Ill. will be shut down.
“It’s rare to have an opportunity to acquire a brand like Bekins, a company that truly helped to create the moving and storage industry, an innovator in that space and brand that’s so well recognized. Consolidation in the relocation industry is inevitable as the market shrinks with the economy. But acquiring the Bekins brand and becoming partner to 130 Bekins agents will allow the van line to grow its market share overall and put us in an even better position to compete moving forward.”
— Mark Kirschner, CEO of Wheaton Van Lines, Inc.